Business Bankruptcy Impacts Local Home Buyers

Thursday, January 22nd 2009, 6:21 pm
By: News 9

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The owners of Brass Brick Homes have filed for bankruptcy, which will have a severe impact on local home buyers.

Lone Oak was one of Brass Bricks biggest subdivisions, and if you have a home under construction there, you may have to wait even longer to move into your new home.

"We've made the right decisions and the right cuts to be able to get fully operational again and move forward and have a great 2009," Brass Brick Homes President Ashley Cunningham said last October.

Now, the Brass Brick Homes President has admitted to financial setbacks. Cunningham said the banks were making it harder to get loans to fund their operation, forcing the company to downsize and lay off workers.

But even those steps weren't enough to save the company. The corporate office sits empty and construction has been halted on unfinished homes.

"There will be a lot of anxiety for people that are going through that," homebuilder Jim McWhirter

Jim McWhirter, a local builder and former Oklahoma Homebuilders Association president, doesn't know the specifics of the Brass Brick bankruptcy, but said there is likely a plan in the bankruptcy to cover homeowners with warranties.

But buyers with homes under construction need to contact the bank holding the construction loan.

"There is still a bank involved with construction loans and all of that and if they have already put down payments and invested money, I would suspect they would want to go back to that bank and see what they can work out to get their home completed," McWhirter said.

During that process there will be delays.

"It's sad that they are going to have to experience this, but I think there is light at the end of the tunnel," McWhirter said.

The owners of Brass Brick Homes declined an interview with NEWS 9, but a former employee said it was bad money management that led to their problems.

Brass Brick is the second local homebuilder to go out of business. Bridgeport Development shut down its homebuilding operation last year.