The newspaper said the number was based on its own analysis of the city's legal bills. The bankruptcy has been challenged by retired city employees, and the News said $12.8 million could have paid the pensions of 166 retirees for more than two years.
The city now has 11 firms of lawyers, accountants and public relations experts working on the bankruptcy.
Jim McTevia, who runs a turnaround firm, McTevia and Associates, in Bingham Farms, Mich., told the newspaper he would not be surprised if Detroit's expenses hit $250 million.
"The bankruptcy process is a very expensive way to solve financial problems," McTevia said. "This is the largest municipal insolvency in the history of the United States, so I am not at all surprised at these kinds of fees. The city has a long road to go."