NEW YORK - Privately-held real estate company Fairfield Residential LLC filed for bankruptcy protection on Sunday, saying that the collapse of the U.S. real estate and capital markets has made it difficult to continue without restructuring.

The company, which filed a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in Delaware, said it has agreed with its significant lenders on the framework of a plan of reorganization that would allow it to continue its property management, asset management, construction services and general partner functions.

Fairfield said in a statement that the plan maintains the company's existing infrastructure in a new operating company, but that some assets not assigned to the new operating company will be assigned to a liquidating trust.

Fairfield specializes in multifamily housing and is based in San Diego, Calif.

The case is In re: Fairfield Residential LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 09-14378. (Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Diane Craft)