Trustee holding meeting as first step to form creditors committee in Detroit bankruptcy

DETROIT (WXYZ) - US Trustee Daniel McDermott is conducting the first meeting to put together a creditors committee to represent 20,000 Detroit city retirees in bankruptcy court. 

Today's first meeting is informational and the first step in establishing the committee.  

The Trustee had sent out questionnaires to retirees to gauge how many may want to serve on the committee. Detroit retirees face cuts in their pensions and health care. 

Usually a committee has 7 people, but this could be expanded. It is not known if union officials and Trustees of the two city pension systems will also be on this committee. 

Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes gave the authority to establish the committee to the Trustee - which is an extension of the US Justice Department.

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr puts the city's deficit at $18 billion, pensions are underfunded by $3.5 billion and retiree health care costs of $6 billion can't be paid by the city.

More than 100 objections to Detroit being in bankruptcy were filed with the court by the deadline yesterday. The city has until September 7 to respond.

Eligibility for bankruptcy is set to be heard in October. The case goes back in front of Judge Rhodes tomorrow for other preliminary matters. 

The issue of whether the Michigan Constitution protects the pensions from cuts has not yet been decided in Bankruptcy.

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