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American West, Las Vegas Builder, Files for Bankruptcy

American West Development Inc., a Las Vegas homebuilder, sought bankruptcy protection from creditors after reaching an agreement on a reorganization with seven lenders led by California Bank & Trust.

American West listed assets of more than $50 million and debt of more than $100 million in Chapter 11 documents filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Las Vegas. The company has been building homes in Las Vegas since 1984 and has eight single-family communities under construction.

“The economic downturn of the past four years has hit the homebuilding industry hard, particularly in southern Nevada,” Robert Evans, president of American West, said in an e-mailed statement. “This reorganization will allow us to move forward with existing and new projects.”

Sales of new U.S. homes dropped 0.9 percent in January to a 321,000 annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Feb. 24. The median price fell 9.6 percent from the same month last year.

American West’s largest unsecured creditors include JPMorgan Chase Bank NA and California Bank & Trust, both with claims of $24.9 million, and Bank of America NA, with a claim of $17 million, according to court papers.

The case is In re American West Development Inc., 12-12349, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Nevada (Las Vegas).

To contact the reporter on this story: Dawn McCarty in Wilmington at dmccarty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Pickering at jpickering@bloomberg.net

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