The bureau's fate could be decided in the next few weeks, because a small community bank, State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas, has already filed a lawsuit questioning whether Cordray's appointment was constitutional. The next deadline for that case is Feb. 13.
Attempts to contact attorneys for the Texas bank were not successful.
"Even if the Big Spring case is dismissed, it won't take long for a lot of other companies to raise the same constitutional challenges in their own CFPB matters," said Ronald Rubin, a partner at Hunton & Williams who worked in enforcement at the CFPB. "The bureau is on notice that Director Cordray's appointment is in jeopardy, and starting today that will be part of the discussion for almost everything the CFPB does."