White House officials said President Obama was following the situation closely. On Friday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the Obama administration would offer what assistance it could but resolving the city's financial problems would be up to Detroit and state officials.

"I think it's been made clear by local leaders and state leaders that the broader issue is one that has to be resolved by the city and its creditors," Carney said. "We will of course, as we would with any city in this country, work with that city and have policy discussions with leaders in the city and make suggestions and offer assistance where we can."