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With a tanking economy, just how low will a collector go? Tonight at 8 p.m., Christopher Naughton’s Law Journal examines “Unfair Debt Collection, Predatory Lending and Questions of Bankruptcy” with debtors’ bankruptcy attorneys Barry Frost of Teich Groh Frost & Zindler, Eric Leinbach of Leinbach Law Offices and Brian Mildenberg of Mildenberg & Stalbaum. Facing off against them is creditors’ rights attorney and fair debt collection expert James Mathieu. Mildenberg, whose practice focuses on predatory lending issues, said he sees more collectors and lenders using subterfuge and blatantly unethical practices. “The worse the economy gets, the more creditors are finding their gains from the lowest rungs of society,” he said. “Lenders are doing it through behavior where it is very easy to overreach, offering benefits that are non-existent, getting security interests in homes, omitting telling people the risks and suckering them in. Collectors are doing less in writing, more over the telephone, leveling threats such as ‘the sheriff will be out there tomorrow to remove you from the house.’ This where the house isn’t even in foreclosure yet. “ Given the political climate, Mildenberg isn’t surprised. “Very soon, we will probably see this new bankruptcy bill,” he said. “Instead of going after those responsible for so many corporate bankruptcies . . . they go after the part of society that is least empowered. It’s a mean bill.” Law Journal broadcasts for one hour, live with call-in, every Monday at 8 p.m. on WFMZ-TV 69. Each program is later Webcast on www.LawJournalTV.com. Next week: “Settling the Workers’ Comp Claim.”

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