Karen's Feed
Aug 27, 2014

Bankrupt Detroit offered bigger loan secured by art

By Karen Pierog

(Reuters) – A New York-based specialty finance group is ready to loan Detroit as much as $4 billion, double its previous offer, if the bankrupt city uses the masterpieces in its art museum as collateral, according to a new proposal that surfaced this week.

Art Capital Group, which offered to loan the city $2 billion earlier this year, doubled the offer based on a recent appraisal that determined the Detroit Institute of Arts’ (DIA) collection was worth more than $8 billion.

Aug 13, 2014

Start of Detroit bankruptcy trial pushed to Aug. 29

Aug 13 (Reuters) – A federal judge on Wednesday once again
delayed the start of the key phase of Detroit’s historic
bankruptcy case, pushing it to Aug. 29 from Aug. 21.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes on Tuesday had raised
the possibility that the confirmation trial, on Detroit’s plan
to adjust $18 billion of debt and exit the biggest-ever
municipal bankruptcy, may be delayed to allow time for the city
to incorporate a major settlement over $5.2 billion of water and
sewer revenue bonds into the plan.

Aug 12, 2014

Water deal could force another delay in Detroit bankruptcy trial

By Lisa Lambert and Karen Pierog

(Reuters) – A federal judge could once again push back the start date for the trial on Detroit’s exit from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history after some creditors said on Tuesday a possible settlement is snarling key components of the restructuring plan.

The complicated settlement rests on a tender offer for $5.2 billion of the city’s water and sewer revenue bonds. The deadline for bondholders to tender their debt voluntarily for repurchase is Aug. 21, the same day the trial is to begin, with the final settlement possibly becoming firm weeks later, in the middle of the proceeding.

Jul 25, 2014

Detroit’s revised bankruptcy plan sheds light on bonds, monitor

July 25 (Reuters) – Detroit released a revised debt
adjustment plan on Friday that details the role of a
post-bankruptcy monitor and sets up a reserve fund to possibly
enhance recoveries for certain creditors.

The fifth revision of the plan filed in U.S. Bankruptcy
Court creates a litigation trust related to Detroit’s lawsuit
seeking to void $1.45 billion of pension certificates of
participation (COPs) sold in 2005 and 2006.

Jul 25, 2014

Detroit revs up for approval of bankruptcy plan

July 25 (Reuters) – Detroit could be on the fast track to
complete the final, crucial phase of its historic bankruptcy
case, as settlements with key creditors line up and city workers
and retirees demonstrate overwhelming support for cost-saving
retirement benefit changes.

While a small, hard-core group of creditors continues to
hold out for a better deal, the support among workers and
retirees may help push through the city’s plan to adjust $18
billion of debt and exit the biggest Chapter 9 municipal
bankruptcy in U.S. history. It has moved the possibility of a
“cram down,” where a bankruptcy plan is imposed on objecting
creditors, to center stage.

Jul 22, 2014

Detroit workers, retirees vote in favor of city’s debt plan

By Karen Pierog and Lisa Lambert

(Reuters) – Detroit’s city workers and retirees overwhelmingly agreed to accept the city’s debt adjustment plan, according to results filed late Monday, potentially clearing the way for the struggling city to exit bankruptcy in the next few months.

Documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court show the city’s current and retired police and fire employees, along with other active and retired city workers, will accept pension reductions to help adjust $18 billion in debt in the largest-ever U.S. municipal bankruptcy case. Most bondholders rejected the plan, along with insurers backing some of the debt.

Jul 21, 2014

Detroit bankruptcy plan is feasible, but concerns remain -report

July 21 (Reuters) – Detroit’s plan to adjust $18 billion of
debt and exit the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history
is feasible, according to an expert witness report that also
expressed concern that the costs of its rapid restructuring may
hurt the city’s ability to fix its “broken operations.”

Martha Kopacz, a senior managing director at Phoenix
Management Services in Boston, who was chosen by U.S. Bankruptcy
Judge Steven Rhodes in April as an expert witness in the case,
concluded in her July 18 report obtained by Reuters on Monday
that the plan’s revenue, expense and payment assumptions are
reasonable.

Jul 9, 2014

Detroit art sale could bring less than half collection’s value -expert

By Karen Pierog

(Reuters) – The Detroit Institute of Arts collection may be worth as much as $4.6 billion, but a sale of art works would raise less than $2 billion to pay the bankrupt city’s creditors, according to a report released on Wednesday.

Michael Plummer, an art expert hired by the institute and the city to evaluate the collection and ways to raise cash from it, concluded that litigation and market conditions would depress prices. Liquidating the most valuable works would eventually force the museum to close, in his opinion.

Jun 26, 2014

Bond insurer Syncora is stubborn city rival in Detroit’s bankruptcy

June 26 (Reuters) – Bond insurer Syncora Guarantee Inc has
emerged as Detroit’s chief nemesis in the city’s historic
bankruptcy case and is fighting as if its financial life depends
on a decent recovery on its $400 million exposure to the city.

Since Detroit filed the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S.
history last July, Syncora has objected to the city’s moves
nearly every step of the way – from an early agreement with
investment banks over interest rate swaps to the more recent
“grand bargain” designed to save the Detroit Institute of Arts.

May 23, 2014

Exclusive: Like New Jersey, most states felt drop in April income taxes

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – New Jersey, which revealed a massive budget shortfall this week, is far from alone in feeling the pinch of lower income tax revenues in the key month of April, a Reuters analysis shows.

Personal income tax collections plunged last month from a year earlier in 27 of 32 states for which Reuters was able to collect data. That’s most of the 43 states that levy income taxes, and drops were as high as 50 percent.