There is an 80 percent chance that Jefferson County, Alabama, officials will vote to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy today, Commissioner Sandra Little Brown said before the panel was set to meet to consider the option.
A Chapter 9 filing by the county of 660,000 would be the largest in U.S. municipal history. Jefferson owes $3.14 billion on sewer bonds left from a failed refinancing that left it exposed to the 2008 financial crisis.
Last night, Little Brown, one of five county commissioners, had put the probability at “50-50.” She said her concern grew because of parts of the creditors’ settlement proposal that would require that the county end all lawsuits against banks and possibly criminal prosecutions.
“The investigation needs to be ongoing,” Little Brown said in the hall outside of the commission offices. Banks “all over America have bad deals.”