Option One Mortgage Corp., Irvine, Calif. -- which is on the auction block -- lost $40 million for the three-month period ended Oct. 31, compared with a $48 million profit in the same period last year.The subprime lender's parent company, H&R Block, blamed the losses on continued weakness in the mortgage industry, noting that lenders are facing "reduced originations, reduced gain-on-sale margins, and increased provisions for loan losses." (Option One is part of Block's mortgage services group, which does not include H&R Block Mortgage Corp.) Option One, a wholesaler, funded $6.6 billion in the quarter (the company's second fiscal quarter), a 46% decline from the level of the same period last year. In November Block said it might sell Option One. Potential bidders include two broker-dealers, investment banking sources have told MortgageWire.

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