BofA expands Countrywide loan mods

Principal reductions to be offered to 45K borrowers

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Bank of America will offer "earned principal forgiveness" to about 45,000 severely underwater homeowners who purchased homes with subprime and adjustable-rate mortgages offered by Countywide Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries.

After acquiring Countrywide in 2008, Bank of America launched an $8.4 billion loan modification program to settle charges by state attorneys general that Countrywide engaged in unfair and deceptive lending practices during the housing boom (see story).