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Log Home Company Chapter 11

I am going to talk about the elephant in the room, Lincoln Logs Ltd., a large log home manufacturer claimed bankruptcy protection last Friday.  According to the press release on their website, “The decision to seek bankruptcy protection was driven, in large part, by the housing market crisis and the resulting decline in consumer demand for home building packages.”

What does this mean to the log home industry?  In a small industry like ours, such an announcement rattles the walls and has people talking in hushed whispers and speculating about why and who’s next and other meaningless gossip.  Once the shock of such an announcement subsides, the significance of the decision becomes more clear.

Chapter 11 is designed to protect a company from its creditors while it reorganizes its businesses with a view to becoming profitable again.  Unlike the government bail-outs we’re witnessing on Wall Street, this isn’t a scam being played on investors or creditors – or customers.  The purpose of Chapter 11 is to help a company get back on its feet.

Every industry suffers market gyrations and economic corrections that are outside their ability to influence.  Thousands of small businesses and many large corporations such as Chrysler and Texaco have filed Chapter 11 and this action often permits the company to regain its footing, repay debts and resume growing their business.

I am not an economist, in fact I’m terrible at accounting and I do not personally know one individual associated with the Lincoln Logs company.  However, I’ve been in business for about 30 years and I’ve seen market downturns such as what we are witnessing today in the real estate industry, and the one thing I will guarantee is that this economic cycle will end. 

Will Lincoln Logs be able to weather the storm?  I have no idea, but I could argue that they are now in a better position than some of their competitors as their creditors are held in check.  I would guess that if the company intended to abandon their business they would not have filed Chapter 11.  Short of a protracted real estate slump or a complete economic meltdown, my bet is that Lincoln Logs plans to be building log homes for quite some time.

13 comments to Log Home Company Chapter 11

  • As a Lincoln Logs, Ltd dealer I wanted to say thanks for how you put this : )

  • Well, as far as i know, Lincoln logs is the best when it comes to log homes…

  • I would like to share the same sentiment as Chris Wheeler. I have been an active dealer with Lincoln Logs LTD since 2003 and I am fully confident that this decision, humbling as it may be, will be a mere bump in the road for our company. This allows us to continue to supply homes of superior design and quality while working through our financial reorganization. Lincoln is here to stay…

  • As a past employee of Lincoln Logs, I have to say they’re a good bunch, and wish them well in overcoming this economic trial they’ve been handed.

  • I can personally vouch for Chris – she was so kind to me when I was 1st exploring becoming a log home dealer for a competing log home firm. Not too many people would take the time to answer questions and share their knowledge. If their other dealers are as kind and knowledgable as Chris is – then I have no doubt they will weather the storm. It’s better for the log home industry if we are ALL doing well!

  • Mike

    Has anyone heard how the reorganization is coming? I purchased my log home through Lincoln Logs and received all the materials except the windows. The windows have been manufactured and are sitting on the vendors (Bilt Best) dock. BB won’t release the windows until LL pays, which they won’t do while they are in chapter 11. If LL goes into chapter 7 banckruptcy, I’m sunk and will have to pay for the windows again.

  • Mary

    As far as I know, LL is going into liquidation the end of this month. I’m in a hell of a mess. My primary home has been demoed, foundation started and no materials are coming, nor does it look like I’m going to be getting ANY $$$ back and I’m out plenty. I don’t know how I’m going to build my home… and I can’t wait forever either.

  • Bill

    Mike,

    Lincoln got me in the same mess too. My shell was complete and I was waiting for windows & doors. Biltbest called me and offered to sell me the window kit for a decent price. I made the purchase (again?) and they (biltbest) are a great product. They might make you the same offer. Overall, I understand the whole bankruptcy thing, but I’m most upset that no one, not the company nor the local dealer, told me what was going on. I was in the dark for about two months wondering where my windows were. More so than the money was the time I wasted waiting.

  • Mike

    Bill,

    Sorry to hear about your situation. We ended up paying additional money for the windows also. We are now waiting to hear from the bankruptcy court to see if we can recover any of our money…I’m not optomisitc that we will. I was/am also frustrated with the communication from Lincoln Logs. They certainly did not act professionally towards their customers. Another fallout from the bankruptcy is that we will not have warranties or representations. Anyway, our windows are installed and we are moving forward with our build.

    Mike

  • […] One company I wrote about a few months ago was Lincoln Logs based in Chestertown, NY (see: Log Home Company Chapter 11).  That posting also had numerous comments from customers, dealers and other log home industry […]

  • Kelly

    Well, it sounds like some of you got something. We had paid for our package in full and yet don’t even have final plans. We feel like we really got “taken” by this uh reputible company???

  • Mike

    Hi Kelly,
    You paid in full, or you made a down payment?
    Do you have any recourse?

    Mike

  • A.J. P.

    We really got “taken” by L.L. and had to pay “again” for materials that we had already paid for. Got taken in that “no help” re: building the house, and now the windows are not working, the logs have cracked all the way thru…no one to call for help.
    And as a dealer; I lost out of commissions and referrals.
    The word I heard was that many employees were not happy at LL and were not treated very well.
    No selling our dream home in NM.

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