In response to the downturn in the homebuilding industry, Levitt and Sons LLC, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and 37 of its subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.The company said the downturn has been particularly sudden and steep in Florida and in the Southeast, where Levitt and Sons operates. For the past several months, Levitt has been involved in intense negotiations with its bank lenders to restructure its debt and obtain funding to complete unfinished homes and other projects that were suspended due to the company's financial condition. The negotiations have not been successful to date but are still under way, the company said. Lawrence E. Young, who has been named chief restructuring officer, said the homebuilder will seek a mechanism to facilitate the completion of some unfinished homes. "Likewise, we seek a resolution that will allow closings to take place promptly for previously completed homes," he said. "Our principal objective during the Chapter 11 process will be to identify the best means of maximizing recoveries for all creditor constituencies, including our customers and employees. As part of this process, we will explore the potential sale of all or some of Levitt and Sons' assets."

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