The Democratic members of the Senate Banking Committee are urging the Office of the Comptroller of Currency to drop a proposal that would pre-empt state predatory lending laws and other consumer protection laws that may interfere with the operation of national banks and their mortgage lending subsidiaries.The OCC is ignoring Supreme Court rulings and Congress in pursuing a pre-emption agenda, according to a letter from 10 Democratic senators to Comptroller John Hawke Jr. "We therefore urge you to defer any further rulemaking on pre-emption of state laws at this time and to vigorously examine claims of predatory lending and other violations of state consumer protection laws by national banks and their operating subsidiaries," the Nov. 24 letter says. Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., signed the letter, along with the other nine Democrats on the committee.

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