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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

CIT Group's

(CIT) - Get CIT Group Inc. Report

bondholders have shown little interest in a debt exchange offer aimed at repairing the commercial lender's balance sheet,

Reuters

reports, making bankruptcy more likely.

Earlier this month, CIT launched a debt restructuring plan with the hopes of trimming at least $5.7 billion from its balance sheet. The company also is seeking approval from its bondholders for a prepackaged reorganization plan if it is forced to file for bankruptcy protection.

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CIT received $2.3 billion in federal bailout funds last fall and in July secured a $3 billion emergency loan from some of its largest bondholders, dodging an immediate bankruptcy filing. But the company still needs to reduce its massive debt burden to avoid collapse.

CIT is now more likely to try a prepackaged bankruptcy,

Reuters

reports, citing two people familiar with the matter.

But separately, investors in CIT securities said it is possible the company won't find enough debtholder approval for a prepackaged bankruptcy, which requires sufficient support before the company files for protection from creditors. Instead, CIT might have to aim for a prenegotiated bankruptcy, which typically has less support before the actual filing.

A CIT spokesman declined to comment for

Reuters

.

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