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Portrait Homes parent files for bankruptcy

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Chicago-based Pasquinelli Homebuilding is seeking bankruptcy liquidation for all its business entities, including Portrait Homes Indiana.

The national homebuilder says it has more than 10,000 creditors and $10 million to $50 million in liabilities, according to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition filed Thursday in Chicago.

The petition said the company's assets range from $500,000 to $1 million.

"[Pasquinelli and its subsidiaries] essentially stopped doing business in 2009," said Brian Shaw of Shaw Gussis, the company's bankruptcy attorney in Chicago.

Portrait Homes was one of the busiest condo and townhouse builders in the Indianapolis area in the middle part of the last decade, building up to 250 units a year annually until the housing market crashed. Its projects included Prairie Lakes in Noblesville, The Oaks in Westfield, The Townes at Noble West and Hannover on the Green at Saxony.

After multiple foreclosure actions, the company's various business entities own fewer than 10 pieces of real estate among them, Shaw said.

The bankruptcy filing will stay all remaining lawsuits, and it will prevent Harris Bank from pursuing its allegation that Bruno and Anthony Pasquinelli improperly took $87 million out of their business between 2005 and 2009. Harris filed a complaint against the Pasquinellis in Cook County, Ill., last year, and it was dismissed, Shaw said. Harris had the option to refile but had not done so before last week's bankruptcy filing, he said.

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