Legislation that would strike down federal rules pre-empting state predatory lending laws for national banks and their mortgage subsidiaries has been introduced by Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., who recently abandoned his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination.The joint resolutions would overturn final rules issued in January by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. "These new federal regulations protect big banks that mislead regular Americans, trick vulnerable people, and betray the values of integrity and responsibility that are at the core of America's free enterprise system," Sen. Edwards said. The senator touted North Carolina's predatory lending law, which he said is saving consumers $100 million a year without blocking the wide availability of mortgage credit in his state. He said the resolutions would stop the Bush administration from "gutting" the law, but they would apply nationwide. The OCC rules pre-empt state laws that regulate the lending activities of national banks, and they block state and local enforcement officials from auditing or investigating national banks and their mortgage subsidiaries.

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