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GGP's Bankruptcy

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Updated at 9:51

Updated at 10:18

Updated at 11:11

We all knew it was likely. Now it's happened. The biggest real estate bankruptcy is now official. Blaming the broken financial markets, General Growth made the news official with a release that hit the company's Web site early this morning.

You can read its SEC filing here. And you can view its bankruptcy filing below.

General Growth Properties' Bankruptcy Filing General Growth Properties' Bankruptcy Filing DealBook From DealBook: General Growth Properties' bankruptcy court filing, made early Thursday morning.

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Update 1: A factbox on Reuters says General Growth is the 11th largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

The following is a list of the largest U.S. bankruptcies

since 1980, according to court records and the website

BankruptcyData.com:

COMPANY/YEAR TOTAL ASSETS

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc (2008) $639,000,000,000 *

WorldCom Inc (2002) 103,914,000,000

Enron Corp (2001) 63,392,000,000

Conseco Inc (2002) 61,392,000,000

Texaco Inc (1987) 35,892,000,000

Financial Corp of America (1988) 33,864,000,000

Refco Inc (2005) 33,333,172,000

Washington Mutual Inc (2008) 32,900,000,000 *

Global Crossing Ltd (2002) 30,185,000,000

Pacific Gas and Electric Co (2001) 29,770,000,000

General Growth Properties Inc (2009) 29,560,000,000 *

Lyondell Chemical Co (2009) 27,392,000,000

UAL Corp (2002) 25,197,000,000

Delta Air Lines Inc (2005) 21,801,000,000

Adelphia Communications Corp (2002) 21,499,000,000

MCorp (1989) 20,228,000,000

Mirant Corp (2003) 19,415,000,000

Delphi Corp (2005) 16,593,000,000

* - from court documents

What can we expect now? This is precisely the question we tackled in our February cover story which surveyed bankruptcy experts and looked at how a REIT bankruptcy might unfold.

Bankruptcy experts, however, say that many of the worries may be unfounded. The sector may not have been tested by a big bankruptcy yet, but enough is known about how the companies are structured and how a bankruptcy proceeds that experts think the industry should emerge fine, even from a series of bankruptcies. Further, there is reason to believe that because REITs control a tangible base of assets through large portfolios of real estate, these firms may be more likely to survive bankruptcies than other companies that's value is harder to pin down or could be subject to liquidation.

We'll have more--much more--on this story as new details emerge. For now, here are links to some of the key write-ups so far.

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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