Bankruptcy Cheat Sheet: What You May Have Missed Last Week

Monday, April 7, 2014

The first week of April was a busy one in Detroit’s bankruptcy case. Here’s a recap from Next Chapter Detroit:

On Monday: The Detroit Institute of Arts began deciding how to respond to a massive subpoena filed by attorneys for Syncora.

The bond insurer wants records dating back to the 19th century that deal with the finances, management and value of the collection at the museum.

At the end of the day, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr filed his first revision of his Plan of Adjustment and Disclosure Statement.

For the first time, Orr revealed in the filings how the “grand bargain” would work. That’s the $815 million funding proposal that blends state money, DIA funds and private foundation contributions. Those organizations and their commitment are available here.

On Tuesday: Detroit pensioners and their supporters took to the streets to make their message clear: cut payments to the banks, not the retirees. Next Chapter Detroit was there with the demonstrators.

And had here's a conversation with one of them.

On Wednesday: Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes heard from attorneys from the city, the creditors and pensionsers on several issues. He approved a $120 million quality-of-life loan that the city will use for services including police, fire and blight removal. Rhodes also discussed with attorneys how the court can hire and expert witness – or witnesses – to help determine feasibility and reasonableness of the city’s eventual final bankruptcy exit plan. And he admonished city attorneys to work with the media to make sure retirees are getting accurate information about what that plan will mean to them. Here's our Storify.

On Thursday: Attorneys, media and the judge back in court to hear arguments about the city’s settlement agreement with two global banks over pension debt. It’s the third such hearing for the pension interest rate swaps agreement as Judge Rhodes rejected the first two as being too generous for the banks. This one has the city paying $85 million on about $280 million worth of debt. Rhodes will rule April 11 on the agreement.

Bonus: Also last week, Rhodes released a new schedule for deadlines and hearings.

Upcoming: In advance of this week’s conference at Wayne State University “Detroit Bankruptcy and Beyond: Organization for Change in Distressed Cities,” two national speakers appeared on The Craig Fahle Show, warning that “Detroit is not alone” with its funding woes.

Find more coverage of Detroit's bankruptcy and its impact on people and neighborhoods on WDET's Next Chapter Detroit blog.

Powered by The Detroit Journalism Cooperative with support from The James L. Knight Foundation, The Ford Foundation, and Renaissance Journalism's Michigan Reporting Initiative.