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The Looming Chapter 9 Battle Over State Protection Of Vested Public Employee Pension Benefits, Mark S, Kaufman, Summer B. Chandler Apr 2019

The Looming Chapter 9 Battle Over State Protection Of Vested Public Employee Pension Benefits, Mark S, Kaufman, Summer B. Chandler

Summer Chandler

"For years, observers have warned of the looming threat of unfunded pension liabilities. Some dubbed the danger the “pension tsunami,” and it has hit an increasing number of U.S. cities, including Vallejo, Stockton and San Bernardino in California and the city of Detroit, which have sought chapter 9 relief in bankruptcy court.1 Despite the attention given to these cases, chapter 9 filings are relatively scarce, and many significant issues remain to be resolved by the courts. One unanswered question is whether a municipal debtor in bankruptcy can propose to pay its pension debt2 less than in full, even …


Maybe Taxes Aren't So Certain: What Is "Fair And Equitable" In A Chapter 9 Plan?, B. Summer Chandler, Mark S. Kaufman Apr 2019

Maybe Taxes Aren't So Certain: What Is "Fair And Equitable" In A Chapter 9 Plan?, B. Summer Chandler, Mark S. Kaufman

Summer Chandler

"Many U.S. cities and other municipalities are struggling under crippling financial demands. Buckling under the financial strain, a number of municipalities are considering an option that, just a few short years ago, was almost unheard of—filing for bankruptcy protection. Assuming that eligibility requirements are met, a municipality1 may seek bankruptcy protection under chapter 9 of title 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Historically, chapter 9 filings have been rare, with typically less than 10 such filings annually.2 In recent months, however, a number of chapter 9 cases have been filed.3 In addition to the rise in the number …


Of Progressive Property And Public Debt, Christopher K. Odinet Dec 2015

Of Progressive Property And Public Debt, Christopher K. Odinet

Christopher K. Odinet

Debt is property, and, because of this, property law has a lot to say about how debts are resolved. Indeed, property law is deeply woven into the fabric of the bankruptcy process — a fact that has been woefully neglected by many scholars. The ability to provide debtors with relief and the ability of creditors to demand protections from discharge or diminished payments are both concepts that are intimately tied to property law. However, despite the doctrinal workings of property law in this context, from a theoretical standpoint property law has been underutilized. This is particularly true, as this Article …


Chapter 9 Plan Confirmation Standards And The Role Of State Choices, Juliet Moringiello Oct 2014

Chapter 9 Plan Confirmation Standards And The Role Of State Choices, Juliet Moringiello

Juliet M Moringiello

Because so few municipalities have ever filed for bankruptcy, none of the Chapter 9 confirmation standards have benefitted from extensive judicial scrutiny. The standards are particularly undeveloped as applied to cities and counties, whose debt structure and service obligations are more complicated and diverse than those of the special purpose districts whose cases generate the vast majority of Chapter 9 judicial opinions. The lack of clarity is not only bad for distressed cities and their creditors, it is undesirable from a public policy standpoint. States can choose whether to permit their municipalities to file for bankruptcy, and clear plan confirmation …


Goals And Governance In Municipal Bankruptcy, Juliet M. Moringiello Dec 2013

Goals And Governance In Municipal Bankruptcy, Juliet M. Moringiello

Juliet M. Moringiello

The years from 2011 to 2013 were remarkable in municipal bankruptcy terms. During those years, several cities and counties took the rare step of filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code. When Detroit filed for bankruptcy in July, 2013, it became the largest city measured by both population and outstanding debt to file for Chapter 9.

The recent filings challenge the conventional wisdom that Chapter 9 is poorly tailored to the rehabilitation needs of larger cities and counties. Those who have written about Chapter 9 in the past twenty years have treated Chapter 9 and state intervention …