Calif. Ch. 9 Cases Will Guide Detroit On Eligibility Issues

Law360, San Diego (July 22, 2013, 10:46 PM EDT) -- The California municipal bankruptcies of Stockton and San Bernardino will provide guideposts for Detroit as it navigates the eligibility process in its Chapter 9 case, but the Michigan city’s ability to establish that it’s eligible as a debtor is complicated by a state judge’s finding last week that its bankruptcy petition was unconstitutional, according to experts.

Facing at least $18 billion in debt, Detroit filed its Chapter 9 petition Thursday and seeks massive concessions from the city’s pensions and bondholders. Detroit’s population of 700,000 makes it the largest city to seek municipal bankruptcy protection in U.S. history.

Decisions in the Chapter...

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