US

Puerto Rico hit with 1st lawsuit from bondholders

Bondholders are taking action against Puerto Rico after a freeze on litigation that protected the U.S. territory from lawsuits expired amid an economic crisis.

A group representing those who bought bonds backed by Puerto Rico's sales tax on filed a lawsuit Tuesday, expected to be one of several as bondholders seek to recuperate the millions of dollars they invested in Puerto Rico government bonds.

The lawsuit comes after the island's government failed to negotiate any deal with bondholders. Puerto Rico has defaulted on $1.3 billion of principal owed since the previous governor declared the $70 billion public debt load unpayable in June 2015.

A fiscal plan sets aside $800 million a year for debt payments, a fraction of the $35 billion due in interest and payments over the next decade.