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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Two-Step Plan For Puerto Rico, Clayton P. Gillette, David A. Skeel Jr. Mar 2016

A Two-Step Plan For Puerto Rico, Clayton P. Gillette, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Few still believe that Puerto Rico is capable of meeting all of its financial obligations and continuing to provide basic services. The territory is already in default, and conditions are rapidly deteriorating. Is there a way forward? We think there is. In this short article, we outline a two-part plan for correcting Puerto Rico’s most urgent fiscal and financial problems.

The first step is to create an independent financial control board that has authority over Puerto Rico’s budgets and related issues. Notwithstanding concerns that an externally imposed financial control board (FCB) may interfere with the decision making processes ...


Time For An Update: A New Framework For Evaluating Chapter 9 Bankruptcies, Michael J. Deitch Apr 2015

Time For An Update: A New Framework For Evaluating Chapter 9 Bankruptcies, Michael J. Deitch

Fordham Law Review

Municipal bankruptcies have been making national news since the “Great Recession.” Municipalities like Stockton, Vallejo, and Jefferson County gained notoriety for the record scale of their bankruptcy filings, only to be surpassed by Detroit shortly thereafter as the largest and most populous municipal bankruptcy filing. Historically, municipal bankruptcy occurred infrequently, leaving the nuances of many critical issues, including insolvency, asset utilization, and good faith, unexplored in case law. For example, how should a bankruptcy court analyze Detroit’s cityowned art museum that houses billions of dollars of art when bondholders, pensioners, and other unsecured creditors have unpaid claims? And how ...


What Is A Lien? Lessons From Municipal Bankruptcy, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2015

What Is A Lien? Lessons From Municipal Bankruptcy, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

From the outset of Detroit’s bankruptcy, an unlikely set of issues kept coming up: What exactly is a lien? Who has a property interest or its equivalent in bankruptcy? Did general obligation bondholders have special status, due to Detroit’s promise to use its “full faith and credit” for repayment? What about Detroit’s pension beneficiaries, who could point to a provision in the Michigan Constitution stating that accrued pension benefits cannot be diminished or impaired. In this Article, I explore these and related issues that have arisen in Detroit and other recent municipal bankruptcy cases.

Part I of ...


A Public Pensions Bailout: Economics And Law, Terrance O'Reilly Sep 2014

A Public Pensions Bailout: Economics And Law, Terrance O'Reilly

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In several states, public pension plans are at risk of insolvency within a decade. These risks are significant, and the solutions currently contemplated are likely to fall short of what is necessary to contain the problem. If public pension plans do become insolvent, it seems likely the federal government will bail them out. This Article proposes that the federal government prepare for the prospect of federal financial support of public pension plans by instituting an optional regulatory regime for public pensions. If a state elects not to participate, its public pension plans would be ineligible for federal financial support. In ...


Is Bankruptcy The Answer For Troubled Cities And States?, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2013

Is Bankruptcy The Answer For Troubled Cities And States?, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The financial crisis that has afflicted America’s cities and states for the past decade is far from over. Under existing U.S. law, distressed municipalities can file for bankruptcy if their state permits this, as roughly half do. The states themselves do not have a bankruptcy option, however, no matter how bleak their circumstances may be. There have recently been dramatic developments in the handling of municipal distress. Several cities have filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 9, which, although adequate for sewer and water districts or a very small town, has conventionally been deemed irrelevant for real cities and ...