Ala. judge approves county's bankruptcy exit plan

AP News
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Posted: Nov 21, 2013 6:02 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A federal judge in Alabama has approved Jefferson County's plan to exit the second-largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Bankruptcy Court Judge Thomas Bennett said Thursday he's approving the county's plan to cut and refinance its debt.

The county filed for bankruptcy in November 2011, citing more than $4 billion in debt. It was the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy until Detroit filed this year for $18 billion.

The bulk of Jefferson County's debt was more than $3 billion from sewer construction.

The plan for exiting bankruptcy calls for creditors to reduce the debt by $1.5 billion and for the county to issue nearly $1.8 billion in new debt and raise sewer rates annually.

The county won't be officially out of bankruptcy until the sale of new debt Dec. 3.