BRADENTON, Fla. - The insurers of Jefferson County, Ala.'s nearly $3.2 billion of troubled sewer debt have filed a motion in federal court seeking to dismiss claims that negligence and fraud by the insurers have pushed the county to the brink of bankruptcy.

Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. and Syncora Guarantee Inc. filed the motion last week as part of their suit to have a court-appointed receiver placed in charge of the county's sewer system. The county has refused to raise sewer rates and has defaulted on some sewer debt payments related to $2 billion of auction-rate securities and $850 million of variable-rate securities now held by liquidity banks. Forbearance agreements delaying some debt payments expire Oct. 31.

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