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Bankruptcy Judge Approves P.G. And E. Debt Payment Plan

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A federal bankruptcy judge has approved a proposal by Pacific Gas and Electric Company to expedite payments that could be made to the vast majority of its creditors by 2003.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali yesterday approved a streamlined process for resolving claims of 100 thousand dollars or less.

P.G.and E., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on April sixth, owes money to thousands of individuals and small businesses.

The utility says it owes more than 13 billion dollars to about ten thousand creditors.

The utility now can investigate those claims and negotiate and settle without going back to Montali or the official creditors´ committee to sign off on the results.