Fitch Ratings said today that it has downgraded the long-term issuer default rating for H&R Block, Inc. and subsidiary Block Financial Corporation to 'BBB+' from a previous 'A-' rating. The downgrade comes amid what the rating agency characterized as "continued uncertainty" regarding the potential sale of troubled subprime unit Option One Mortgage Company to private equity giant Cerberus Capital Management LP. The deal was first thrown into question in late August, with H&R Block disclosing that it would not be likely to meet conditions needed to close the purchase. The downgrade also reflects the immediate departure of CFO William Trubeck, announced today, who left amid what the company is calling a "very challenging period." For more information, visit