NEW YORK--(Goodwin Procter, a national Am Law 50 firm, today announced the launch of MuniBK, a new blog focused on the growing issue of municipal bankruptcy. MuniBK provides links to curated news content, analysis and commentary on issues including municipal bankruptcy law, related public finance developments, marketplace data and recent Chapter 9 filings by California municipalities including Stockton, San Bernardino and Mammoth Lakes as well as other cities across the United States.)--
“The once unthinkable prospect of municipal bankruptcy is now being closely examined by many cities in the 29 states that authorize use of Chapter 9”
The blog is intended to serve as a resource for the wide range of stakeholders potentially impacted by the municipal financial crisis, including government agencies, bondholders, unions, creditors, pension funds, investment banks and insurers.
As municipalities face increasing financial pressure from the combination of declining state and local revenues and escalating operating costs and legacy pension obligations, many are considering use of Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code to provide fiscal relief. By statute, protection under Chapter 9 is available not only to political entities such as towns and counties, but also to public agencies, such as school districts and municipal authorities, and to so-called “instrumentalities of the state,” which could potentially include public-private partnerships and other quasi-governmental entities utilized in municipal finance transactions.
Among the topics to be examined in blog posts are:
- Eligibility under Chapter 9 and ongoing court cases related to determination of eligibility in various legal venues.
- Examination of the status and legal review of various challenges to bankruptcy filings in Stockton, Calif., Harrisburg, Penn., and other cities.
- Developments related to the implementation of California’s AB 506 statute, designed to place additional restrictions on the ability of California municipalities to file for Chapter 9 relief.
- The impact of municipal bankruptcy on municipal securities markets and on public finance alternatives.
“The once unthinkable prospect of municipal bankruptcy is now being closely examined by many cities in the 29 states that authorize use of Chapter 9,” said Manny Grillo, partner and chair of Goodwin Procter’s Financial Restructuring Practice. “The potential impact, not only on municipalities, but on unions, pension funds, bondholders and bond insurers, as well as many other general unsecured creditors, is significant and these groups need to understand how these filings could affect their interests.”
“As the major ratings agencies have recently reported, at least 55 and perhaps as many as 100 California cities have declared fiscal crises. Yet, California remains the nation’s largest issuer of municipal debt, accounting for almost 20 percent of the nation’s municipal bond volume,” added Lewis Feldman, partner and chair of Goodwin’s Public Finance Practice and Los Angeles office. “The MuniBK blog will cover the intersecting issues of public finance, restructurings and Chapter 9 to aggregate information and developments from here in California and around the country, and share Goodwin’s analysis of legal and business developments as they occur.”
Blog contributors will include attorneys from Goodwin Procter’s Corporate, Financial Restructuring, and Real Estate, REITs & Real Estate Capital Markets practices as well as leading academics, policymakers and financiers. The MuniBK Blog is available at http://blog.munibk.com/.
About Goodwin Procter
Goodwin Procter LLP is a leading Global 100 law firm, with offices in Boston, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. The firm provides corporate law and litigation services, with a focus on matters involving real estate, REITs and real estate capital markets; private equity; technology companies; financial services; intellectual property; products liability and mass torts; and securities litigation and white collar defense. Information may be found at www.goodwinprocter.com. Follow us on Twitter @GoodwinProcter.