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TheStreet Open House

Large Homebuilder May Be Near Bankruptcy

Woodside Homes, which bills itself as the third largest private homebuilder in the U.S., may be nearing bankruptcy.

The Utah-based company is part of a group of builders developing the Inspirada master-planned community outside Las Vegas. Other developers at the community include Toll Brothers (TOL - Get Report), KB Home (KBH - Get Report), Meritage Homes (MTH - Get Report) and Beazer Homes (BZH - Get Report).

The Inspirada project is being built on 2,000 acres in Henderson, Nev., that Woodside and the various joint venture partners purchased at auction from the Bureau of Land Management. The project was originally dubbed South Edge.

Earlier this year, another partner in the project, private builder Kimball Hill Homes, filed for bankruptcy.

Last week, a group of note holders filed an involuntary petition against Woodside Homes in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Central District of California. Involuntary petitions are often made by creditors to force a company into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Woodside has 20 days from the date of the Aug. 20 filing to respond.

"First and foremost, Woodside continues to operate in the normal course of business -- paying employees, vendors and subcontractors, and building and selling homes," Jennifer Mercer, a spokesperson for Woodside Homes, told TheStreet.com.

"The company is working with both the note holder and bank groups and will be presenting its position to the judge requesting an orderly resolution on Wednesday," Mercer said. She refuted the Tuesday report from Standard & Poor's LCD News that said Woodside had already filed for Chapter 11.

The petitioning creditors listed on the filing against Woodside are John Hancock Life Insurance, AXA Equitable Life Insurance, Metropolitan Life Insurance, New York Life Insurance and Security Life of Denver Insurance. The total claim amount is $156 million.

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