Three major banks suspending foreclosures for several weeks

Bank of America and two other major banks said today they will suspend foreclosures for several weeks as the federal government works on a plan to help people save their homes.

Bank of America will delay foreclosure sales starting today on primary residences. That means investment property, second homes and such are not part of the package. The moratorium ends March 6, but the Charlotte bank will consider an extension if the federal loan-modification plan isn't ready, said spokeswoman Jumana Bauwens.

The bank last year bought Countrywide Financial, the largest mortgage lender and a key player in the subprime mortgage market that has been plagued with foreclosures following years of lax lending.

J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup also announced foreclosure moratoriums today.

Wells Fargo, which recently bought Wachovia, had previously delayed foreclosures for certain mortgages. This week, the bank said it would extend that delay and expand it to more customers while awaiting the federal plan.

(Staff writer Christina Rexrode contributed)

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