Detroit Becomes Largest US City to File Bankruptcy

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Detroit is now the largest American city to file for bankruptcy. The Motor City is $18 billion in debt.

It's a big fall for the automobile capital of the world, which used to be home to 1.8 million people.

In its glory years, Detroit was known for producing fast cars and that great Motown sound. Today the music's stopped.

Barely 700,000 people live in the city and nearly 80,000 buildings sit empty.

The homicide rate is at its highest level in 40 years and residents wait an average of 58 minutes for police to respond to their calls.

"Detroit is broke," Fox News quoted Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said.

"The citizens of Detroit need and deserve a clear road out of the ever-decreasing services," Snyder said in a letter attached to the bankruptcy filing.

"The city's creditors, as well as its many dedicated public servants, deserve to know what promises the city can and will keep," he said. "The only way to do those things is to radically restructure the city and allow it to reinvent itself without the burden of impossible obligations."

Mayor Dave Bing said, "Now that we are here, we're going to have to make the most of it."

The state hired bankruptcy expert Kevin Orr to lead Detroit through the process.

"Nothing changes from the standpoint of the ordinary citizens' perspective," Orr said.

Detroit's emergency manager is promising city services will remain open and the government will continue paying its bills and its employees.

But fear that workers could be laid off and assets sold remains.

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