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Sep 29, 2014

U.S. bankruptcy judge allows Detroit water shutoffs to continue

DETROIT (Reuters) – U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes ruled on Monday that Detroit can continue shutting off water service to non-paying customers, saying his court does not have jurisdiction over the issue and that suspending disconnections for six months could hurt the city’s finances.

“Detroit cannot afford any revenue slippages,” the judge said, before resuming his ongoing hearing on Detroit’s plan to exit the biggest-ever municipal bankruptcy.

Sep 26, 2014

Detroit council, mayor approve deal to restore their powers

DETROIT, Sept 25 (Reuters) – The Detroit City Council
unanimously approved a resolution on Thursday that would keep a
state-appointed emergency manager in control of the city’s
historic bankruptcy case, while returning city governing powers
to elected officials.

Shortly after the vote, Mayor Mike Duggan signed a letter,
informing Michigan Governor Rick Snyder of his approval of the
action, which followed three days of closed-door meetings.

Sep 22, 2014

U.S. bankruptcy judge hears testimony on Detroit water shutoffs

DETROIT, Sept 22 (Reuters) – A federal bankruptcy judge on
Monday heard testimony from low-income families in Detroit who
say they suffered hardships when the city cut off their water
with no warning and are suing to prevent such shutoffs from
happening again.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes – currently overseeing
Detroit’s historic bankruptcy case – is hearing arguments Monday
and Tuesday before deciding whether to issue a six-month
injunction against water cutoffs. The larger hearing to approve
Detroit’s plan for exiting bankruptcy is on hold for the week
and will reconvene on Sept. 29.

Sep 19, 2014

Detroit council approves regional water authority deal

DETROIT, Sept 19 (Reuters) – The Detroit City Council on
Friday approved the creation of a regional water authority,
pushing forward an integral part of the city’s plan to exit the
biggest-ever municipal bankruptcy.

A deal Detroit reached last week with Oakland, Wayne and
Macomb counties creates a regional water and sewer authority,
but allows Detroit to maintain control of its local system. The
authority must now be approved by at least one of the counties.

Sep 18, 2014

Detroit art museum will sue if city’s bankruptcy plan not approved

DETROIT (Reuters) – The Detroit Institute of Arts is prepared to sue to prevent the sale of its collection if Detroit’s plan for exiting bankruptcy is not approved, the museum’s chief operating officer told U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Thursday.

When Detroit filed for the largest-ever U.S. municipal bankruptcy 14 months ago, the museum began preparing for possible litigation to keep its art works from being sold to pay city creditors, museum COO Annmarie Erickson told the court.

Sep 17, 2014

Judge pauses Detroit’s bankruptcy trial again

DETROIT (Reuters) – U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes ordered a week-long break in Detroit’s bankruptcy trial on Wednesday, giving the last major objector to the city’s restructuring plan time to rework its case.

The hearing will be adjourned from Friday and reconvene on Monday, Sept. 29. It was also placed on hiatus last week for three days while the city applied the finishing touches to a settlement with another holdout creditor, Syncora Guarantee Inc [SYCRFS.UL].

Sep 16, 2014

Court’s expert witness on Detroit bankruptcy qualified to testify: judge

DETROIT (Reuters) – An expert witness hand-picked by the federal judge overseeing Detroit’s historic bankruptcy case will testify on the feasibility of the city’s debt adjustment plan without restrictions, the judge ruled on Tuesday.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes said Martha Kopacz, a senior managing director at Phoenix Management Services in Boston, is qualified to give her expert opinion, noting that her “specialized knowledge will help the court to understand the

Sep 15, 2014

Detroit reaches bankruptcy deal with fiercest creditor

DETROIT (Reuters) – Detroit has reached a settlement with bond insurer Syncora Guarantee Inc, its fiercest opponent in its historic bankruptcy case, a lawyer for the city said on Monday.

David Heiman of law firm Jones Day told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes that Syncora and the city “have laid down their swords.”

Sep 12, 2014

Detroit end in sight as deals leave FGIC last major bankruptcy holdout

DETROIT (Reuters) – With key players in Detroit’s historic bankruptcy case locked in marathon mediation sessions, the pressure is on bond insurer Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., the last major holdout creditor, to settle with the city.

Judicial mediator Gerald Rosen has ordered the city and some of its major creditors including FGIC to keep talking until they come to an agreement. Another deadline looms outside of the court process: Kevyn Orr, the city’s emergency manager, is expected to end his term on Sept. 29.

Sep 11, 2014

Detroit bankruptcy trial on hold after landmark insurer deal

DETROIT, Sept 10 (Reuters) – A federal judge has delayed
until Monday the landmark trial on Detroit’s plan to exit
bankruptcy, as the city neared a deal with bond insurer Syncora
Guarantee Inc, one of its most formidable hold-out creditors.

Syncora had argued it had been short-changed compared with
other creditors. As part of the deal, Syncora will drop its
objection to the restructuring plan, which could clear the way
for the plan to win swift approval from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
Steven Rhodes.