Janesville72.4°

Financial trouble for building company

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JAMES P. LEUTE
November 1, 2007
— What’s uncertain is whether a large Chicago homebuilder has filed for bankruptcy.

What’s certain is the company founded in Janesville in 1980 is facing serious financial difficulties.


Neumann Homes, one of Chicago’s largest home-building companies, said last week it would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a result of “significant downturn” in housing markets in Chicago, Detroit and Denver. The company said it had been unable to secure adequate funding to operate its business and had closed its sales, production and customer service offices. Most employees were laid off.


But the company has yet to follow through on its filing intention, leaving law and finance professors scratching their heads and customers wondering about the status of their contracts.


Mark Neumann founded Neumann Development in 1980 and began building homes. The company then moved into land development. In 1984, Neumann’s brother Ken started Neumann Construction in Naperville, Ill. The two businesses merged in the late 1980s under the ownership of Mark and Ken Neumann.


In 1992, Neumann Construction was renamed Neumann Homes. Mark Neumann left Neumann Homes that same year and was elected to Congress, representing Wisconsin’s 1st District.


Ken Neumann continues as the company’s chief executive officer as Neumann Homes approaches bankruptcy court.


The Chicago Tribune reported that Neumann has more than 130 homes under construction in the Chicago area and three under way in Wisconsin.



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