Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross will pay $1.1 billion for H&R Block's troubled Option One mortgage servicing business, which has been rocked by the nationwide mortgage crisis.
Option One currently services about $53 billion of subprime mortgages, ranking it the fourth-largest in the nation.
WL Ross & Co. earlier agreed to acquire $42 billion mortgage servicing rights from American Home Mortgage Investment Corp., and the combined total of $95 billion will create the country's second-largest subprime servicing portfolio, after Countrywide Financial.
Ross has taken advantage of the crisis in the credit markets to buy up assets. In February, he agreed to make up to a $1 billion investment in Bermuda-based bond insurer Assured Guaranty, considered one of the strongest left in its sector.