H&R Paring Mortgage Unit

The move comes as Wall Street awaits news of a possible sale.
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H&R Block (HRB) - Get Report will lay off some workers as it "discontinues" parts of its H&R Block Mortgage retail lending business, TheStreet.com has learned.

A spokesman wouldn't specify the number of layoffs. He said the company "made an internal announcement to some employees that we are going to discontinue some of the operations of that business."

The news comes as H&R Block prepares for a decision on its

Option One subprime lending unit.

H&R Block put the Option One unit up for sale in November, saying it hoped to get $1.3 billion. Since then, the business of lending to homebuyers with poor credit histories has tanked, but H&R has maintained that it hopes to sell the business for book value.