Tag Archives: Harrisburg

Harrisburg: A Case Study in State Law Barriers to Chapter 9

On November 23, 2011, the Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania dismissed Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s chapter 9 bankruptcy petition because Harrisburg was not specifically authorized to file for Chapter 9 as required by the Bankruptcy Code. Harrisburg’s failed attempt to remain in Chapter 9 highlights the political factors and state law constraints that municipalities must consider prior to seeking bankruptcy relief.[1] This article will discuss the origins of Harrisburg’s debt crisis, the Harrisburg City Council’s attempt to file for Chapter 9 without the Mayor’s approval, the legal obstacles placed in the path of the City Council’s bankruptcy filing, and the lessons that other distressed municipalities and creditors can learn from Harrisburg’s experience. Continue reading

Chapter 9 Update: Harrisburg Files for Bankruptcy Amid Political Dispute

Harrisburg, Pa., the state capital, filed for chapter 9 bankruptcy on October 12, 2011.  The City Council authorized the filing without approval of the mayor, leaving the validity of the filing in doubt.  The state of Pennsylvania has challenged the … Continue reading