The Delaware’s U.S. Bankruptcy Court is the busiest in the country for Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings. It so busy that it doesn’t even have enough judges to cover the amount of cases coming in.
Chief Delaware U.S. District Judge Gregory M. Sleet, who oversees the bankruptcy unit, said in an annual report this year that they have enough cases for twelve judges when it only has six judges right now.
During a Senate hearing Tuesday, officials were calling the situation a “full-blown crisis.”
Despite major budget cuts, the Wilmington based court will be getting an additional judge to help handle the devastation. However, Sleet states that even though the federal court administrators have authorized a bankruptcy judge for Delaware, it has not been funded.
“A full-blown crisis awaits us” in Delaware as the bankruptcy court deals with 28 percent in budget cuts over three years, necessitating the elimination of 23 of 72 office employees and a furlough program “whereby all staff of the clerk’s office take one day every two weeks, without pay, equating to a 10 percent decrease in their salaries,” Sleet wrote.
The spending sequestration is the practice of imposing automatic, across-the-board spending cuts in the face of annual budget deficits.
The budget cuts have been “devastating” to the courts, and “we have no available surplus funding,” Judge Julia Gibbons of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit told Coons at Tuesday’s hearing in Washington.
Some of the largest bankruptcies filed in 2013 in Delaware include marketing solutions company, Dex One Corp., which filed on March 17 with assets of $2.84 billion and debt of $2.79 billion; vodka seller Central European Distribution Corp., which filed April 7 with assets of $1.98 billion and debt of $1.73 billion; and lead battery maker Exide Technologies (XIDEQ), which filed June 10 with assets of $1.89 billion and debt totaling $1.14 billion.