Puerto Rico control board wants stay maintained on lawsuits

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A fiscal control board overseeing Puerto Rico’s finances has asked a federal judge to maintain a stay on lawsuits while it tries to restructure the island’s debt.

The seven-member board said in a court document Friday that creditors have filed at least 14 lawsuits against the commonwealth and lifting the stay would lead to more, distracting it from its task of straightening out the island’s finances. The board said creditors would not be unduly harmed by maintaining the stay through Feb. 15 as originally planned.

Congress created the board in June to address Puerto Rico’s economic and fiscal crisis. The government has defaulted on several multimillion-dollar bond payments since Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla announced last year that the U.S. territory’s nearly $70 billion debt is unpayable.