'The Law Works' looks at how debt settlement companies work

By The West Virginia Record | Sep 23, 2008


CHARLESTON -– You're in serious debt and the credit card bills keep piling up. The ad on television promises to make it all go a way for pennies on the dollar. The answer you've been hoping for or too good to be true?

On the season opener of "The Law Works," host Dan Ringer and his guests Norman Googel and Martin Sheehan discuss the pros and cons of using one of these companies and the legal ramifications for those who do. Watch this episode of "The Law Works" at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2 on West Virginia PBS.

Googel is West Virginia's Assistant Attorney General with the Division of Consumer Protection specializing in deceptive sales and credit practices, including predatory lending, unscrupulous debt relief schemes and abusive debt collection practices. Prior to joining the Attorney General's office in 1995, he was a legal aid attorney in Welch and Huntington, with an emphasis in domestic violence, child abuse, prison conditions and decent housing.

Sheehan is a partner at Sheehan & Nugent in Wheeling who focuses on bankruptcy and criminal matters. He has been a bankruptcy trustee since 1993 and has handled more than 13,500 cases. He is also an adjunct lecturer at the West Virginia University School of Law. Prior to forming Sheehan & Nugent in 1993, he was a solo practitioner and before that an associate of Volk, Frankovitch, Anetakis, Recht, Robertson and Hellerstedt in Weirton. Sheehan also served as Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia from 1984-1990 and was responsible for developing the debt collection unit.

The discussion about credit and credit cards continues on Thursday, Oct. 16 with Googel and Sheehan as guests.

More information about these and other recent topics from the program is available at "The Law Works" Web site.

Now in its 10th season, "The Law Works" is the state's only weekly television show discussing legal issues that effect the lives of every day citizens. Host Dan Ringer operates his own law practice in Morgantown. In 1999, Ringer was named West Virginia's first Lawyer Citizen of the Year of the WV Bar Foundation. He served as president of the WV State Bar (1999-2000) and was named the American Bar Association's Practitioner of the Year in 2000.

More News

The Record Network