H&R Block Inc. said Tuesday that its fiscal second-quarter net loss widened amid charges related to the dismantling of its Option One Mortgage Corp.

H&R Block reported a net loss for the quarter ended Oct. 31 of $502.3 million, or $1.55 a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $156.5 million, or 49 cents a share.

"We continue to move resolutely to end our participation in the subprime mortgage business," said Richard C. Breeden, the dissident shareholder who became chairman last month after the ouster of chairman and chief executive Mark Ernst.

"We have completed $3 billion of whole loan sales since Aug. 1 of this year. While we incurred a painful loss in exiting these positions, we determined to take our lumps and move forward."

Mr. Breeden wants the company to focus on its core tax business and get out of the securities-brokerage, banking, and lending businesses.

H&r Block posted a $199.1 million net loss, versus a year-earlier loss of $166.9 million, at its tax services segment. It said the increased loss was due in part to writeoffs related to refund anticipation loan receivables.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.