The city filed for Chapter 9 protection Thursday, the largest U.S. municipality ever to do so.

It's official: Detroit just became the biggest city to file for bankruptcy in U.S. history. 

Emergency manager Kevyn Orr filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection this afternoon, according to the Associated Press. Most recent estimates suggest the municipal government owes at least $18.5 billion. Governor Rick Snyder signed off on the filing, as required, in a letter attached to court documents filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Michigan. The city will now embark on a multi-month process in which the court will determine how the city's limited coffers might be divided up among its creditors.

The main challenge to this process is likely to come from representatives for the city's public employees and retirees, who had planned to go to court to stop or at least delay the city from filing for bankruptcy assuming the filings would include plans to reduce pension benefits. Michigan's constitution explicitly protects public pensions, but any plans to raid Detroit's pension funds weren't immediately apparent in Thursday's court filing, which is published below. The filing effectively halts any other court proceedings while it makes its way through the Chapter 9 bankruptcy process.

Read more about the filing over at the Free Press.

 

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Graffiti on a wall reads "Tourist Go Home."
    Life

    The Global Tourism Backlash

    A surge in tourism has led to a backlash in cities where residents feel overrun. How can these cities use tourism to their benefit?

  2. Environment

    Iceland Is Sick of Tourists' Bad Behavior

    Visitors are underestimating the country’s dangers—and taking locals for granted.

  3. Solutions

    Florence Loses Its Mind Over Tourists Eating Sandwiches

    Italians may be Europe’s greatest gastronomic hardliners, but this time they’ve gone too far.  

  4. Illustration of a house with separate activities taking place in different rooms.
    POV

    The Case for Rooms

    It’s time to end the tyranny of open-concept interior design.

  5. An image from the grand opening of Manhattan's Second Avenue Subway line in 2017. Officials have been criticized for opening it before it extended past East 96th Street, a dividing line that separates one of Manhattan's wealthiest neighborhoods, the Upper East Side, from East Harlem, one of the poorest.
    Equity

    The Segregation of Our Everyday Lives

    A new study analyzes Twitter data and finds that racial segregation not only divides us based on where we live, but how we travel around cities.