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Bank of America Leads Lenders in U.S. Home Short Sales

Bank of America Corp., the U.S. lender with the most housing-related writedowns, is allowing the highest number of properties to be sold at a loss as short sales become an increasingly common foreclosure alternative.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank approved 5,276 short sales in January, topping JPMorgan Chase & Co., with 2,976, and Wells Fargo & Co., the biggest home-loan originator, with 2,788, according to a report today by RealtyTrac Inc. The total number of U.S. short sales, in which properties are bought for less than what’s owed on them, rose 33 percent from a year earlier in January, the latest month for which figures are available, and is expected to set a record this year, the Irvine, California-based data provider said.