June trial planned for Detroit debt adjustment plan -judge

Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:41pm EST

Feb 24 (Reuters) - Retirees, unions and others opposed to Detroit's financial restructuring plan will have a chance to argue their case at a trial starting in mid-June, according to an order on Monday by the judge overseeing the case.

Detroit and its creditors have until Friday to file objections to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes' scheduling order in the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The order gives creditors until March 28 to file their objections to the plan.

A hearing on legal arguments to restructure $18 billion in debt is scheduled for April 28. The trial on factual issues will begin on June 16 and could extend until June 27.

The plan Detroit filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Friday would result in cuts to city worker pensions and even deeper cuts to holders of certain Detroit bonds that were lumped into the city's nearly $12 billion pile of unsecured debt.

Retirees and pension funds argued the proposed cuts were too deep, while bond insurers complained that bondholders were being treated unfairly.

Rhodes made it clear in his order that he expects all the parties to continue court-ordered, confidential mediation to resolve disputes over the treatment of claims in the city's plan.

The tenure of the Michigan state appointed emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, ends in September. Orr has asked the court to speed up the case.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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