The Houston power company, which operates in the Midwest, Northeast and the West, tried to buy Enron in 2001 before that company's collapse.
The parent company of Dynegy Holdings says that a New York bankruptcy court has already approved its reorganization plan.
Subsidiaries that operate the company's coal-fired and gas-fired power plants were separately financed in 2011, and the company said Friday that they are not part of the Chapter 11 filing.
As debts rose to more than $5 billion last year, Dynegy worked to protect the company. Instead of selling assets to raise cash, the company reshuffled its businesses so that the parent company owned power plants and other assets while a subsidiary issued bonds.