Can Detroit Bankruptcy Proceed? What the Judge Must (and Might) Consider

November 8, 2013 – In The News
Christian Science Monitor

Michael Sweet was quoted in the Christian Science Monitor article "Can Detroit Bankruptcy Proceed? What the Judge Must (and Might) Consider." While the full text can be found in the November 8, 2013, issue of Christian Science Monitor, a synopsis is noted below.

After two weeks of testimony in the Detroit bankruptcy eligibility hearing, it is now up to Judge Steven Rhodes to determine whether the city can in fact seek bankruptcy protection.

Although creditors presented credible arguments, it is widely believed that Rhodes will rule in the city’s favor.

One reason, according to Michael Sweet, is the unprecedented nature of the case. If allowed to proceed, Detroit would be the largest city in United States history to file for bankruptcy.

“There have been so few cases like this; the law is not highly developed,” Sweet says. “At the end, there is no real robust law under the bankruptcy code in Chapter 9” for the judge to use as precedent in the case.

Sweet also suggests that it may be impossible for Judge Rhodes to ignore what would happen if Detroit is not granted bankruptcy protection.

“I think, pragmatically, the alternative of not granting the city bankruptcy protection would be more devastating than the city being in bankruptcy,” Sweet says. “He’ll weigh the [eligibility] factors, but at the end of the day … it’ll be in the back of his mind.”