In March, a bankruptcy expert was brought in to assess Detroit's severe financial crisis.
The expert pointed to the city's overspending and mismanagement by officials as the main cause of the crisis.
The city's debt could be as much as $20 billion.
There are reportedly 78,000 abandoned structures in the city.
And the city's unemployment rate is more than double the national average, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said.
Snyder believes bankruptcy could provide a new beginning for the city.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing called Thursday a difficult day for Detroit.