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BofA to reduce mortgage principal

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Bank of America is taking a major step to help some of its most troubled mortgage borrowers. The bank says it will forgive up to 30 percent of some customers’ loan principal.

The bank has said Wednesday it will start forgiving principal for homeowners who owe more than 120 percent of their home’s value.

The plan, to begin in May, is among the first by a U.S. mortgage lender that takes a systematic approach to reducing mortgage principal when home values drop well below the amount owed. The effort is aimed at preventing foreclosures.

Bank of America, based in Charlotte, N.C., is the largest mortgage servicer in the country.