The cost of the Great Recession has taken its toll on the employed, the unemployed and “mom and pop” too. Small businesses have taken a huge hit, though there may finally be some light at the end of the tunnel.

Tonight at 7 on the Philadelphia CNN-News affiliate WFMZ-TV, The American Law Journal presents, “Bankruptcy and Small Business: ‘Mom and Pop’ on the Brink.” Joining host Christopher Naughton are debtor’s attorney Dexter K. Case of Case, DiGiamberardino & Lutz, creditor’s attorney Timothy P. Duggan of Stark & Stark and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Judith H. Wizmur of the District of New Jersey.

The panel looks at the latest in loan modifications as well as Chapters 11 and 13 for mom-and-pop businesses. According to Duggan, “I have heard judges claim that they have never seen such a run of cases that are ‘dead on arrival.’ These businesses have been so efficient at cutting back, at cutting costs, that there’s nothing left. They don’t have the ability to present a [Chapter 11] plan.”

With several state and county programs ending soon, some see it impacting the individuals and the small businesses, with a coming foreclosure spike in early 2013. But as bad as it’s been, there’s hope: Small-business bankruptcies dropped by a third in 2012.

The American Law Journal airs on Mondays at 7 p.m. as well as Sundays at 5:30 p.m. on the CNN-News affiliate for Philadelphia, WFMZ-TV 69. See for all cable and satellite systems. FiOS system subscribers tune to channel 15.

This program will be available on as well as YouTube and iTunes after it airs.

Next week on The American Law Journal: “Social Media, Surveillance and the Work Injury.” •