The deadline day has arrived for creditors to oppose Detroit's request for bankruptcy protection.
Federal Judge Steven Rhodes has set Monday as the eligibility objection deadline in the bankruptcy petition by Detroit's state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr.
Creditors include bond holders, insurers, banks, the city's two employee pension systems, individuals and companies.
Orr says Detroit is insolvent and unable to pay off all of its debt which could be $18 billion or more.
The mere act of filing for a Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy does not mean the city is in Chapter 9, there is a qualification process.
Detroit has to establish with the judge the municipality is truly insolvent among other things.
The paperwork claiming just the opposite is getting pretty thick.
Carrying the legal notices Detroiters received in the mail last week, National Action Network's Rev. Charles Williams brought printed objection forms for Detroiters to sign to bring into bankruptcy court.
The group objects to Orr's authority as an unelected official to take the city into bankruptcy.
"First we were not properly alerted that we could file an objection and then secondly our elected officials never filed for bankruptcy. This was simply led by a party of interests that is by
Kevyn Orr and we're objecting to that," said Williams.
The biggest objection Monday came from the biggest Detroit union AFSCME.
Its 70 page filing objected to everything but Kevyn Orr's tie and called Chapter 9 itself unconstitutional.
If that doesn't hold up AFSCME contends Detroit's Chapter 9 filing is unconstitutional on the federal and state levels and said it "runs ramshackle over local self-government."
Doug Bernstein of Plunkeet Cooney is the Local 4 municipal bankruptcy expert.
"You don't wait until the city bounces a check for a determination on a cash flow basis that the city is in fact insolvent. So that may or may not have substance to it," Bernstein said. "The biggest issue underlying all of the AFSCME filing is the possibility pension benefits will be cut dramatically. The state constitution says you can't touch those.
Orr's contention is that federal law trumps the state's constitution and that the unfunded pension liability is a major cause of this bankruptcy.
The city has until Sept. 6 to file its responses to the objections. A multi-day hearing on the eligibility question is scheduled to start Oct. 23