Originally published by Stock Broker Fraud Blog.
U.S. lawmakers have come up with a bill that will help Puerto Rico restructure its debt. The territory has been asking for help from the federal government to deal with its debt crisis.
Unlike states and other municipalities in the U.S., territories are not allowed to file for bankruptcy protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The bipartisan legislation would offer the territory a legal remedy similar to filing for bankruptcy protection but without requiring the commitment of federal funds.
Puerto Rico has been in a huge economic crisis while struggling to repay its debt. Already, the island has defaulted on different bond classes, including the majority of a $422 million payment that was due this month. The Commonwealth also has another $2 billion debt payment due in July.
The purpose of the bill would be to lower the island’s debt burden, which absorbs over 30% of the Commonwealth’s revenues. The U.S. government is also trying to prevent the legal brouhaha that could arise in court between different creditors to which the island owes money. Per some of the terms of the bill, a control board would mandate that Puerto Rico’s government establish a fiscal plan, which would including providing sufficient funding for pensions. At the moment, according to Fox News, the territory has underfunded its public pension by over $40 billion. However, there are those who oppose the bill, including opposition groups cautioning that the legislation could establish a precedent for U.S. states that are in trouble. Already, Puerto Rico’s economic woes have compelled over 200,000 to flee the island.
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