J.G. Wentworth to Expand Into Reverse Mortgage Business

NewImage.jpgJ.G. Wentworth, the largest purchaser of future payment products is expanding beyond the structured settlement industry and plans to enter the reverse mortgage business.

According to a job opportunity, the company is looking for a licensed mortgage broker or lender to build a nationwide retail operation that offers reverse mortgages.

“Initially, this leader will evaluate the current reverse mortgage market, assess the opportunity, work with senior management in setting up a new business entity, help in the licensing process as well as determining the best internal procedures and processes to be put into place to have the business up and running from day one,” said the job opportunity.

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If J.G. Wenworth decides to start the division from scratch — which it sounds like it does — they would have to obtain licensing in each state which could take some time.  However, the new line of business could potentially get access to J.G. Wentworth’s significant marketing resources to reach reverse mortgage borrowers.  During 2007, the company said it invested over $43 million in marketing through various media channels.

In 2009, the company ran into problems during the financial crisis and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  As part of the reorganization plan, J.G. Wentworth’s parent, private equity firm JLL Partners of New York, invested $100 million of new equity to support ongoing operations. It also agreed to provide as much as $35 million for the company to buy loans from lenders in exchange for new preferred interests in the company.

Since then, it has launched a new TV commercial and completed two different securitizations of structured settlement backed notes.

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  • The current image of JG Wentworth is well defined. They have strong, identifiable branding in Southern California. The problem is the image is not a particularly good one for our industry.

  • Entry into RM makes sense for them. I can hear the radio ads already, “It’s my equity and I need my money now.” I would imagine that they would pushed lump sums over monthly benefits as it would better fit their current image of getting clients large sums NOW instead of in installments. It’ll be interesting to watch this unfold.

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