Wells Fargo said on Friday it is in talks with Baltimore officials that could avert further litigation by that city over the bank's mortgage lending practices. Baltimore sued the fourth-largest US bank in January 2008, accusing it of steering minority borrowers to expensive home loans, resulting in economic harm to the city. US District Judge J. Frederick Motz in January dismissed that complaint, but he gave the city permission to file a narrower lawsuit focused on houses or neighborhoods where damages might be more directly traceable to Wells Fargo's practices. In a court filing on Thursday, Wells Fargo asked Motz to extend the city's deadline to file an amended complaint by four weeks to April 9 from March 12. "We're talking with the city about ways we can collaborate on constructive alternatives to litigation," said Teri Schrettenbrunner, a spokeswoman for the bank.