CIT Group Inc's bankruptcy case was assigned on Monday to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber, the same judge who oversaw the recent reorganization of the automaker General Motors Co.

Gerber, a bankruptcy judge since 2000, is no stranger to large complex cases, having also handled the bankruptcies of cable TV operator Adelphia Communications Corp and the current proceedings involving Lyondell Chemical Co.

GM's reorganization took about six weeks, showing it is possible to reorganize even the largest companies quickly if enough creditors and parties are brought on board in advance.

CIT, a source of financing to about one million small and mid-sized businesses, filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors on Sunday after gathering support from most of its bondholders for its prepackaged reorganization.

The New York-based company hopes to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of the year, and reduce its debt by $10 billion. It intends to keep lending, and a quick reorganization is crucial if it expects to retain most customers.

According to its bankruptcy petition, CIT had $71 billion of assets and $64.9 billion of liabilities on June 30. The bankruptcy is one of the nation's five largest by assets.

In morning trading, CIT shares fell 41 cents, or 57 percent, to 31 cents. The New York Stock Exchange said it would suspend trading in CIT prior to Tuesday's market open.

The case is In re CIT Group Inc, US Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, Case No. 09-16565.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; editing by John Wallace)