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CIT group filed for bankruptcy on Sunday afternoon – but under a so-called prepackaged bankruptcy plan that will enable it to emerge from court protection by the end of the year, under the control of its debtholders.
CIT received $2.3 billion in government aid last year, a bailout that came in the form of preferred stock. That will almost certainly be wiped out in the bankruptcy process, the first realized loss in the government’s rescue of the financial system.
CIT was the nation’s largest provider of what is known as factoring, a type of lending used heavily by retailers. The company has spent months trying to reassure its clients that it will remain open for business as stores ramp up for the holiday season. Relatively few other companies serve as factors, and among them are other embattled lenders like GMAC.