STOCKTON (CBS13) – Hoping to avoid bankruptcy, the city of Stockton must now respond to a lender about whether the city plans to pay back the bond for three parking garages.

A judge ruled that Stockton has until Friday to respond to Wells Fargo Bank. The city defaulted on an $800,000 bond payment for three garages in the area after.

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Last month, city officials decided not to make payment with others as the city restructures in an effort to avoid bankruptcy.

But people worry that if the city doesn’t pay back the bond, a bank or a private business will increase parking prices and that will deter people from coming downtown.

“It’s absolutely going to go up,” one woman said. “I’m sure it will be up to $4 an hour.”

“It would cost too much,” another said. “The prices I’m sure would go up.”

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The city says it’s losing money on the garages every year. Staffing and maintenance costs along with repaying the debt keep Stockton paying out more than the prime parking brings in.

The frustration was clear at Tuesday night’s council meeting, where there’s no consensus on how to dig the city out of its fiscal crisis.

“You need to put a freeze on everything including what the city manager can do in hiring people,” one member of the public said.

“I would like you to tell Wells Fargo and all the other people we owe money to, take a number and get in line, cause we can’t pay you,” said another.

The city of Stockton is desperate to avoid another negative title – the largest in America to file for bankruptcy

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The city is now in confidential mediation with its creditors in the hopes of avoiding bankruptcy.