Tax prep giant H&R Block Inc. reported a third-quarter loss last week, pointing to its struggling mortgage lending arm even at the start of a strong beginning to the fourth quarter’s tax season  -- where the company makes the bulk of its profits.Block said that it lost $44.7 million in the three months ending Jan. 31, compared to gains of $12.1 million in the same period a year ago. Revenue for the same quarter increased to $955.1 million, from $860.3 million.

Block executives pointed to the company’s mortgage business, Option One, which lost $69.7 million during the quarter, down from a gain of $42.4 million a year. For the quarter, Block took around $111 million of losses related to bad loans, most of which had been sold in previous quarters.

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