03/05/2012 07:57 am ET Updated May 05, 2012

Jefferson County Bankruptcy: Judge Clears Way For Bankruptcy Filing

March 5 (Reuters) - Alabama's Jefferson County is fully eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection and can proceed with its $4.23 billion filing, the biggest ever by an American municipality, a federal judge ruled.

Overcoming arguments by creditors that the county was ineligible for bankruptcy because it had the wrong type of debt, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett issued a ruling late Sunday in Birmingham, Alabama, saying the complex case can go ahead. (Reporting By Michael Connor in Miami; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)