Stockton, California Chapter 9 Filing - Another Outlier, Or Harbinger?

Meredith Whitney, one of the first financial analysts to foresee the collapse of the housing market, famously predicted in December 2010 that a wave of municipal bond defaults was on the way . The wave, however, has yet to materialize, and the bankruptcy filing of Stockton, California will likely not...

Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Imminent as San Bernardino Declares Fiscal Emergency

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - (Mealey's) The San Bernardino City Council on July 18 voted 5-2 to declare a fiscal emergency, which allows it to file Chapter 9 bankruptcy without first negotiating with its creditors. City officials said they expect to file a petition in the next 30 days. Bankruptcy...

Are California’s 'Charter Cities' Bankruptcy Prone?

The last three major California cities to file for bankruptcy or announce plans to do so - including Stockton last month and San Bernardino two weeks ago - have something in common: They are all "charter cities." They have their own constitutions, or charters, granting them more freedom...

Citing $1 Billion In Debt, San Bernardino, Calif., Files For Chapter 9 Bankruptcy

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - (Mealey's) The City of San Bernardino, Calif., filed its much-anticipated petition for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in the evening of August 1 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, citing more than $1 billion in debt ( In Re: City of San Bernardino,...

NY Cities ‘Close to Bankruptcy’

Several of New York's largest cities, including Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers, are "close to bankruptcy," a source close to the mayors of those cities said last week. The mayors have been in secret talks on their financial options in recent weeks, and aides to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D...

Francis Lawall – Municipalities and Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code

Francis J. Lawall, of Pepper Hamilton, LLP, discusses why historically, there have been so few Chapter 9 filings and how Chapter 9 is different from Chapter 11. He also outlines many of the common issues in recent Chapter 9 filings and if the limit has been reached in Chapter 9 interest and filings...

Panic in Detroit? Motor City Moves Closer to Possible Chapter 9 Filing

Detroit has seen signs of revival in its urban core following the near-death experiences of GM and Chrysler. Unfortunately, its municipal finances remain beaten down by the city's long and precipitous decline over the past several decades. Labor and legacy costs, incurred when the auto industry...

Steel Cage Match Between CALPERS and Bond Investors Continues in San Bernardino Chapter 9 Case

by Ben Feder The battle in California municipal bankruptcies between bond investors and Calpers , the California public employee pension system, began in the Stockton Chapter 9 bankruptcy case and continues unabated in the bankruptcy case of San Bernardino . The issues at stake - whether California...

Detroit Emergency Manager Posits Sale of Art Masterpieces as Bankruptcy Looms -Van Gogh(ing) Once, Twice, Sold?

Kevyn Orr , the emergency manager appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to try to resolve the Detroit financial crisis , has effectively replaced the Detroit mayor, former NBA legend Dave Bing . However, it is Orr who in the upcoming weeks will need to hit the equivalent of a three-point shot...

Detroit Creditors Asked to Take Haircut (at Sweeney Todd's Barbershop)

Everyone gathered last week at the meeting convened by Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr knew that the news would be dire. Nonetheless, Orr's report on Detroit's financial condition and his proposal for the treatment of the city's creditors - an offer of approximately ten cents on the dollar...

Detroit Files for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy; Cash Flow at Negative $198.5M

DETROIT — (Mealey’s) The City of Detroit late on July 18 filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan as its emergency manager declared that the city is insolvent and that, absent restructuring, he projects cash flows of negative $198.5...

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder Endorses Detroit Bankruptcy

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed off on the city of Detroit's Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing on Thursday, instigating the largest municipal bankruptcy case in the nation's history. The filing was made in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan after Kevyn Orr, the emergency...

Cadwalader Clients & Friends Memo: City of Detroit Files Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Petition – Challenges Ahead

On the afternoon of July 18, 2013, the City of Detroit filed its highly anticipated petition for relief under Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code in the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. This marks the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in United States history. [1] As a result of...

Cadwalader Clients & Friends Memo: Court Approves Extension of the Automatic Stay in Detroit’s Chapter 9 Case to State Officials

On July 24, 2013, Judge Steven W. Rhodes of the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan approved the City of Detroit’s motion to extend the automatic stay to various non-debtor parties, including certain state officials. The Court’s ruling effectively stays all pending litigation...

Snyder Says Detroit Won't Sell Art Assets

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) said the state has no plans to sell any artwork from the Detroit Institute of Art as part of the city's Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing. Speculation has been rampant for months that pieces from the museum collection would be sold. Fears ramped up further last week after...

The Shadow of Detroit: Pension Gaps Threaten Cities and States

by Lou Cannon Detroit's bankruptcy made a brief splash last month before being driven from the headlines by terrorist warnings, congressional intransigence and the sexual shenanigans of a New York City mayoralty candidate and the San Diego mayor. But as a possible portent for other cities and...

Creditors Object to Detroit Bankruptcy

Scores of retirees and creditors, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, have challenged Detroit's historic Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing, arguing that it is unconstitutional because it could be used to slash retiree pensions and that Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr...

White House: $311.33M Will Be Provided to Detroit to Assist Bankruptcy Recovery

WASHINGTON. D.C — (Mealey’s) The White House announced on Sept. 27 that it is providing more than $311 million to help the bankrupt City of Detroit through a combination of federal block grant programs as well as money from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Emergency...

Bankruptcy Judge: Detroit Is Eligible for Chapter 9; Unions Appeal Immediately

DETROIT — (Mealey’s) The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 9 case filed by the City of Detroit issued a verbal ruling today from the bench stating that the city is eligible to file for bankruptcy, a source said. The unions representing city employees immediately filed a...

Detroit Bankruptcy Ruling Imperils Pensions

by Korey Clark This month the federal bankruptcy court judge presiding over Detroit's bankruptcy case, ruled that the city's public pensions were not untouchable, even though they are expressly protected under Michigan's Constitution. "Pension benefits are a contractual right and...

Heard About Detroit? The First Word on Treatment of Public Employee Pension Benefits in Chapter 9 (And Absolutely Not the Last)

by Ben Feder The recent ruling by Judge Stephen Rhodes finding the City of Detroit eligible for protection under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code has rightly received considerable attention. The determination that Detroit has met the standards under Section 109(c) of the Bankruptcy Code to be...

Michigan Governor Wants to Open Bankrupt Detroit to World

Last month Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) unveiled a plan to help revitalize bankrupt Detroit: issue special visas to lure highly skilled immigrants to the city, or as he put it, send the message that "Detroit is open to the world." The city's population has plunged by over 1 million since...

Detroit’s Proposed Plan of Adjustment – Two Crucial Questions

by Ben Feder The chapter 9 bankruptcy case of the City of Detroit has been as complex and litigious as anticipated . Nevertheless, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr has kept plodding forward, and last week filed a proposed plan of adjustment , the road map for the Motor City to emerge from bankruptcy. There...

Stockton Judge: Pension Obligations Are Not Impervious to Impairment In Chapter 9 Bankruptcy. What Comes Next?

by Ben Feder The perception that public employee pension obligations cannot be impaired in bankruptcy suffered a damaging blow several months ago in the City of Detroit bankruptcy case , and has now been fatally wounded by the recent ruling of Judge Christopher Klein in the Chapter 9 case of Stockton...

Despite Earlier Ruling, Stockton Judge Confirms Plan Leaving Pension Obligations Intact

One month ago, Judge Christopher Klein ruled in the city of Stockton, CA bankruptcy case that public employee pension obligations can be impaired in municipal bankruptcy cases under Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code. Last week, however, Judge Klein approved the plan of adjustment for Stockton that left...