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San Bernardino, California<br />
July 18, 2012<br />
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San Bernardino, hit hard by the housing and mortgage crisis, has declared a fiscal emergency, allowing the city to avoid a lengthy mediation process and head straight to federal bankruptcy court.<br />
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The declaration comes after the city announced last week that it would seek Chapter 9 protection, making it the third California city in recent weeks to make the rare move.