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. Traffic-free Times Square in New York City
    Maps

    Mapping How Cities Are Reclaiming Street Space

    To help get essential workers around, cities are revising traffic patterns, suspending public transit fares, and making more room for bikes and pedestrians.

  2. photo: A lone tourist in Barcelona, one of several global cities that have seen a massive crash in Airbnb bookings.
    Coronavirus

    Can Airbnb Survive Coronavirus?

    The short-term rental market is reeling from the coronavirus-driven tourism collapse. Can the industry’s dominant player stage a comeback after lockdowns lift?

  3. Maps

    Readers: Share Your Hand-Made Maps of Life Under Quarantine

    As coronavirus transforms our private and public spaces, how would you map what your neighborhood and community look like now?

  4. Equity

    We'll Need To Reopen Our Cities. But Not Without Making Changes First.

    We must prepare for a protracted battle with coronavirus. But there are changes we can make now to prepare locked-down cities for what’s next.

  5. Illustration: two roommates share a couch with a Covid-19 virus.
    Coronavirus

    For Roommates Under Coronavirus Lockdown, There Are a Lot of New Rules

    Renters in apartments and houses share more than just germs with their roommates: Life under coronavirus lockdown means negotiating new social rules.

×