Experts Examine Current Chapter 9 Cases and What Lies Ahead for Municipal Distress in 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The fallout from the recent recession continues to take a toll on U.S. municipalities. Once considered one of the more arcane chapters of the Bankruptcy Code, chapter 9—under which city or local governments may be eligible to file for federal bankruptcy protection and attempt to adjust their debts—is being used with greater frequency. This ABI teleconference examines current chapter 9 cases and what lies ahead for municipal distress in 2013.

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Hon. Christopher M. Klein is the Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of California in Sacramento. Judge Klein is presiding over the chapter 9 case of Stockton, Calif., the largest city to file.

Juliet M. Moringiello is a professor at Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg, Pa., where she teaches bankruptcy, commercial law, cyberspace law and property law. ABI's Spring 2010 Robert M. Zinman Resident Scholar, Prof. Moringiello writes on the subjects of bankruptcy and electronic commerce, and she is a frequent speaker on the financial distress of Harrisburg, Pa. (which filed but was dismissed from chapter 9).

Patrick Darby of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP (Birmingham, Ala.) is a co-author of ABI’s recently released Second Edition of Municipalities in Peril: The ABI Guide to Chapter 9. He currently represents Jefferson County, Ala., (the largest chapter 9 case to date) with respect to more than $4.0 billion of municipal debt.

Natalie Cohen is a managing director for Wells Fargo Securities, LLC and head of Municipal Research, a new coverage area for Wells Fargo's Global Economics and Research group. She is well-known for her studies and articles about municipal credit risk and bond defaults.


ABI Resident Scholar Prof. C. Scott Pryor the Regent University School of Law (Virginia Beach, Va.)


The fallout from the recent recession continues to take a toll on U.S. municipalities. Cities and counties from Stockton and San Bernardino in California to Jefferson County, Ala., and Harrisburg, Pa. have filed for chapter 9 as a way of coping with mounting municipal debt in an era of reduced tax revenue and underfunded pensions. Financially distressed cities, such as Detroit, continue to consider chapter 9 as a way to alleviate their debt burdens.

The teleconference featured experts explaining the lessons learned from chapter 9 cases in 2012 and what the financial landscape for municipalities looks like in 2013.

For more information on chapter 9, ABI offers the second edition of Municipalities in Peril: The ABI Guide to Chapter 9 from the ABI Bookstore.