Federal regulators should have the authority and the responsibility to end abusive lending practices, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton says in a letter that urges the Federal Reserve Board to act quickly in finalizing guidance on subprime lending."We should take greater steps to ensure the regulators not only have the authority but the responsibility to end the deceptive and irresponsible lending practices that drew people into adjustable rate mortgages and other hybrids they could not afford when the rates adjusted upwards," the New York senator says in the letter to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. The Democratic presidential candidate also argues that lending regulations should cover nonbank lenders and should be effectively enforced. "I fear that regulatory oversight has been lax and too many lenders were irresponsible or unscrupulous," the senator says. "Families and communities are now paying the price." The comment period on the subprime guidance ends May 7.

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