With pretax charges totaling $33.4 million, M/I Homes is reporting a net third-quarter (ending Sept. 30) loss of $21.7 million. According to the company, the charges include land impairment and abandonment charges, joint venture investment write-offs, and severance costs.

During the third quarter as builders continued to face high inventories and a shrinking buyer's pool, M/I Homes was no exception. And August's mortgage meltdown only added to industry woes. Echoing a number of company executives, M/I Homes CEO Robert H. Schottenstein describes the housing sector's current environment as "challenging."

"We remain focused on initiatives that include reducing our land and expense levels, improving our balance sheet, as well as continued improvements in our customer service and quality processes," Schottenstein said in a prepared statement. "We expect to deliver approximately 3,000 homes this year and further reduce our debt levels by year end."

According to the earnings report, the builder's new contracts for the quarter slipped 2 percent to 561 with homes delivered falling 15 percent to 787. In addition, the company said revenue for the period fell to $243.7 million compared to $306.2 million for the same period a year earlier.

M/I Homes, which was ranked No. 21 in the 2006 BUILDER 100, will reveal more details about the third quarter during Tuesday's investor conference call.