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Wall Street creditors asked a federal judge Thursday to throw out the record bankruptcy filed by Alabama's largest county over more than $4 billion in debt, arguing state law doesn't allow it.

Lenders claimed during a hearing and in court documents that Alabama law permits bankruptcy only for bond debt, and Jefferson County has a different type of debt called warrants. The county and creditors could be thrown back into out-of-court settlement talks if the judge agrees.

The county contends bankers are cherry-picking state law in hopes of getting the case dismissed, and that any government in the state can go bankrupt whether its debt is for bonds or warrants.

The Jefferson County Commission president, David Carrington, testified that municipal bankruptcy was the county's sole option after intense negotiations fell apart.

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