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LOS ANGELES — Westlake Financial Services announced late last week that it has created a new division to will specialize in portfolio acquisition services.

The new division, called Westlake Advanced Lending & Portfolio Services, was created to expand the company's product offerings and provide a new source of liquidity for the automotive financial market, according to officials.

Ian Anderson, president of Westlake, explained, "Our strategic vision is to be a well-diversified finance company focused in the automotive industry. Westlake ALPS is a step in this direction as we continue to expand our services."

ALPS will purchase loan portfolios from dealerships, brokers and finance companies looking to sell all or part of their portfolios.

Minimum guidelines include:

—Auto loans only.

—$250,000 minimum pool.

—APR minimum of 12 percent.

—Simple-interest contracts only.

—Monthly payments only.

—All titles should be in dealer's name or lender should be willing to release.

Paul Kerwin, Westlake's chief financial officer, pointed out, "Westlake has dedicated significant resources and liquidity to enable ALPS to target portfolios from $250,000 to $20 million. Partners currently doing business with ALPS have provided very positive feedback and we feel confident in expanding this program to help more businesses make loans."

Alok Desai, portfolio manager, added that "current economic conditions have provided us tremendous opportunity to pursue business in this segment. There are many businesses (dealerships and finance companies, alike) that are need of liquidity. ALPS is an excellent alternative financing solution for many of them. With quick processing and funding times, most ALPS transactions close within seven to 10 business days."

Kerwin noted, "ALPS is already a ‘relationship' business. We want to build long-term relationships with dealers looking for additional capital. Current dealers doing business with ALPS often sell their portfolios in sections. This could allow for better pricing over time and quicker funding times as we become familiar with their portfolio. We are not looking to replace a dealer's buy-here, pay-here business, but rather help facilitate that business by providing cash flow."

Anderson concluded by saying, "ALPS is another service that Westlake is able to offer, not only to our current dealer partners, but any dealership or financial institution looking for a long-term liquidity partner. As we continue to expand our business lines, service will continue to be the number one priority. ALPS looks forward to helping businesses grow."

Those interested in learning more can e-mail ALPS@westlakefinancial.com.