Stockton, CA, is expected to file for bankruptcy before the end of the week, becoming the largest U.S. city to seek protection from its creditors. No one in the city of nearly 300,000 is relishing the prospect, though some see no choice. Stockton, which boomed a decade ago with workers from the San Francisco Bay area seeking affordable housing, is the most recent casualty of the housing bust of the past few years. Stockton busted spectacularly, and it still is swimming in foreclosures. It has been cutting city jobs for years. The cost of pensions and healthcare have overwhelmed it. The plan for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, which includes dropping healthcare for retirees who are now fully covered, will close a $26 million deficit in Stockton’s budget for its fiscal year that begins on July 1.