The judge in charge of Puerto Rico's bankruptcy, Laura Taylor Swain approved a debt restructuring settling $35 billion in debt. Negotiations involved the island's government, its creditors and a federal oversight body over the past four years.
“Puerto Rico's debt payments are now reduced by two-thirds,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network. With Puerto Rico religious leaders, Jubilee USA advocated for debt and disaster relief for the island since 2015. “We remain concerned by some of the assumptions of the debt deal. The island’s ability to resume growth and avoid cuts in anti-poverty programs are both chief concerns."
The $35 billion Puerto Rico debt deal means that bondholders receive $7 billion in cash and other benefits.
“While there is room for optimism, only time can tell if the debt cuts were deep enough to prevent Puerto Rico from needing another debt restructuring in a few years,” cautioned LeCompte.
An act of Congress put in place a federal oversight board in 2016 that worked on the bankruptcy process. The oversight board remains on the island until Puerto Rico can show four years of balanced budgets.