Detroit Files Largest Municipal Bankruptcy In History

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REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Detroit has filed for bankruptcy, the AP’s Ken Thomas reports.

Here’s the full filing »

“Right now, the City cannot meet its basic obligations to its citizens,” Gov. Rick Snyder, who signed off on the filing, said in the petition. “Right now, the City cannot meet its obligations to creditors.” 

The move proved inevitable after two municipal pension funds sued city emergency manager Kevyn Orr.

It’s the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, dwarfing Jefferson County, Ala.’s $3.1 billion sewage district restructuring. 

In June 2012, the City of Stockton became the largest-ever city to file for bankruptcy. 

Here’s our full list of the largest state takeovers in U.S. history »

The Motor City faces $20 billion of long-term liabilities. The Wall Street Journal’s Matt Dillon says those holding onto $11 billion in unsecured debt are basically staring into the abyss, facing the prospect of getting next to nothing from the city’s obligations. 

The pension funds want to block Orr’s attempt to drastically reduce the amount of benefits owed to current and former city workers. 

The funds are fully aware that they could still face such cuts even if the city is forced to go to court, but say they’d prefer to fight the cuts there. Here’s the Freep’s cut from their suit:

It appears imminent the governor will grant the emergency manager the unconditional power to proceed under Chapter 9 (bankruptcy) and the emergency manager will seek to have the city’s pension debts impaired pursuant to Chapter 9 unless the retirement systems and their participants accept the emergency manager’s unilateral imposition of significant impairments to their accrued financial benefits.

Detroit News’ Robert Snell Tweets the city has listed more than 100,000 creditors.

Detroit Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Filing – WXYZ by webteam2410

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