The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is defending its stance on the pre-emption of state predatory lending laws, saying it is "not trying to supplant all state enforcement of state laws."In response to a letter by Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., Comptroller John Hawke Jr. asserts that his proposal to pre-empt state predatory lending laws simply builds on long-standing court and legal opinions. "The OCC is not dramatically altering established pre-emption standards," Mr. Hawke said. "On the contrary, established pre-emption standards are precisely what we are applying." Sen. Sarbanes and nine other Democratic senators urged the OCC to drop its pre-emption agenda and start enforcing state predatory lending laws. But Comptroller Hawke did not give any indication that he is backing away from finalizing the pre-emption rule, which has come under attack from state attorneys general, legislators, and banks supervisors.

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