Bankruptcy delays birth, death certificates in Detroit

Officials say Detroit briefly stopped issuing certified copies of birth and death certificates after filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy because it couldn't get special paper for the documents.

Columnist Laura Berman of The Detroit News reports Thursday the halt came July 23 after a nervous paper vendor demanded cash and the city wanted to use credit. Without certified copies, families couldn't access bank accounts, file insurance claims or access probate court.

Bill Nowling, spokesman for Detroit's emergency manager Kevyn Orr, says the problem was short-lived, once the vendor was assured payment.

Meanwhile, Detroit has confirmed plans to close the Herman Kiefer Complex, a massive health facility that dates to 1893. Nowling says the vital records department will close and Wayne County will assume responsibility for birth and death certificates.