Lehman Bros bankruptcy trustee seeks $1.89 billion distribution to unsecured creditors

A trustee for the bankrupt investment bank Lehman Brothers Inc. is seeking court approval to make another distribution, totaling $1.89 billion, to unsecured creditors in the case.

Lehman's bankruptcy in September of 2008 signaled the start of the global financial crisis and was a major catalyst of the financial meltdown. It was the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, with Lehman listing $639 billion in assets at the time.

Unsecured creditors are normally among the last to get paid in a bankruptcy case, and they often receive only a percentage of the total amount owed if anything. A spokesman for Trustee James W. Giddens said unsecured general creditors in this case might include former employees, pension funds or banks, among other parties.

Total payments to unsecured general creditors will add up to about $7.8 billion if the bankruptcy court approves this third distribution. Two previous payments have already been made, and the third will bring the total paid to about 35 percent of what is owed.

Secured and priority creditors were first in line for distributions. Counting those claims, total distribution to creditors in the case would surpass $8 billion with the latest allocation to unsecured creditors.

"The wind down of the estate continues in earnest, and we will continue to resolve outstanding issues so that all remaining available assets can be fully distributed," Giddens said in a statement.

Aside from creditors, customers have received more than $106 billion, an amount that fully satisfies 111,000 claims.