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J.G. Wentworth is now a mortgage company

Announces acquisition of WestStar Mortgage

Many people are likely familiar with The J.G. Wentworth Company (JGW). The purchaser of structured settlement payments, annuity payments, lottery payments and other receivables rose to fame with the “It’s my money and I want it now” advertising campaign, but now the company is getting into a new business, mortgages.

The company announced this week that it will acquire WestStar Mortgage, a privately-held residential mortgage company specializing in conforming mortgage lending, for $54 million in cash and J.G. Wentworth Class A Common Stock.

According to the company, a minimum of 75% of the transaction will be paid in cash.

WestStar is based in Woodbridge, VA and is licensed to operate in 40 states. The company was founded in 2000 and currently has more than 300 employees spread over 15 states.

In 2014, WestStar closed $1.5 billion of new loan originations, and the company sold or securitized approximately half of the loans it originated to government-backed organizations and half to third-party institutional investors in the secondary market, the companies said in a release.

“Our acquisition of WestStar represents the next major step in our strategy to become a more diversified financial services company, and it provides an exciting opportunity to expand our brand and product suite to a new customer base,” said Stewart Stockdale, chief executive officer, J.G. Wentworth.

“Together, we will leverage the core competencies of J.G. Wentworth, including our national brand, direct marketing abilities, call center excellence, information management and digital capabilities to drive additional mortgage originations,” Stockdale added.

The company also said that it believes that the transaction will be accretive to its adjusted net income by 15-20% on an ongoing basis.

Upon the completion of the deal, WestStar will join J.G. Wentworth and be rebranded as J.G. Wentworth Home Lending. The company will operate as a division of J.G. Wentworth and will remain in the company’s current headquarters in Woodbridge.

J.G. Wentworth Home Lending will operate under the leadership of WestStar’s current management team, Walter Jones, Roger Jones and Kathy Zimpel.

“This is an exciting step forward in the evolution and growth trajectory of our company,” said Walter Jones, WestStar’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Working together with the management team and capabilities at J.G. Wentworth provides an exciting vision for the future.”

The companies expect the transaction to be completed in the third quarter of 2015.

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