Detroit takes churches, schools to court over unpaid electric bills

But the city says it is willing to work with people to get the bills squared away. People like Rev. Jim Holly whose church owes $74,000

"It's true," Holly said. "The whole city, everyone's falling on hard times the last five or six years. I'm not the only one."

The reason the city is going after churches and schools is that it needs to collect every dollar because of bankruptcy. The city's finances are under review by a financial review board. 

However, if the city can balance the books and make budget three years in a row, that board is gone and the city can run its own financial life.

That means paying firefighters, police officers, and other key members of the city. Rev. Holly says he gets it.

"I know they need it," Holly said. "I needed to give it to them so if anybody wants to help me with this, it's alright with me."