Citing allegedly shoddy lending practices by Countrywide Financial Corp., 91 California community groups have asked Bank of America, which is acquiring Countrywide, to declare a moratorium on foreclosures. In a letter drafted by the California Reinvestment Coalition, the groups ask BoA chief executive officer Kenneth Lewis to impose a foreclosure moratorium; modify loans for borrowers in danger of losing their homes to a fixed-rate conventional loan with an interest rate no higher than 6%; and maintain Countrywide's headquarters in Calabasas, Calif., and its loan servicing center in Simi Valley. "Bank of America's acquisition of Countrywide should not be just about profits," said Rhea Serna, the CRC's senior policy advocate. "The merger has the potential to reverse Countrywide's bad deeds and give hundreds of thousands of homeowners the opportunity to stay in their homes." The CRC can be found online at http://www.calreinvest.org.

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