By: Mary Ann Pekara
December 27, 2010
After a year of failing to obtain adequate credit for his ailing home improvement company, owner Bob Owens shut down his two plants and recently declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Owens listed $11.7 million in debts and just $1.7 million in assets, with many of his personal debts being linked to his business, the Duluth News Tribune reports. He had personally backed many loans on his business in an attempt to keep the firm afloat after the collapse of the housing bubble, and even took out a second mortgage on his home.
Owens's creditors include banks, an economic development agency, the city of Shawano and Shawano County, according to the news source.
"We had a great relationship with Bob and I think everyone here has a lot of respect for him. He created a lot of employment here for many years. But when the economy went down, it took a lot of the wood-products companies down that were selling to the home [construction and remodeling] business. They were really hit hard," said Jim Stadler, Shawano city administrator.
According to the news provider, Owens was well-known in the lumber industry for his efforts in promoting sustainable forestry.