Puerto Rico Throws In The Towel And Declares A Form Of Bankruptcy

It's unknown how much debt will be included in the filing and how much creditors can get back.
Posted at 10:59 AM, May 04, 2017

Puerto Rico has declared a form of bankruptcy; it's the first time an American state or territory has ever done that.

It's not clear yet just how much Puerto Rico will include in its filing, but it currently has $123 billion in debt and pension obligations.

For context, when Detroit declared bankruptcy in 2013, its debt level was $18 billion.

Of course, Detroit is a city, and Puerto Rico is a territory. But the population of the latter is about the same as San Diego County.

Sixty percent of the island's people don't have a job or aren't looking for one. About half are enrolled in Medicaid.

While the economic woes grew, politicians raised taxes and borrowed money just to pay operational costs.

And it didn't help that Puerto Rico lost roughly 10 percent of its population over the past decade.

Many moved to Florida and took their tax dollars with them.

For the next step, the Supreme Court will assign a bankruptcy judge to the case.

The courts will have to work out how much of the creditors' money will be paid back and the order they'll be paid.