Feeling the Credit Crunch? We've Got Answers

A panel of experts joined NBC5 and NBCChicago.com on Wednesday to answer your calls and emails, discussing what's going on in the nation's economy and how it affects you.

The lines are closed, but you can read some of the questions and answers here.  And scroll to the bottom of this page for phone numbers and Web sites with further help.

The experts on our panel were:

Lisa Madigan

In November 2002, Attorney General Madigan became the first female elected to serve as the Illinois Attorney General, and one of only a handful of female Attorneys General in the country. She was elected to a second term in November 2006, earning the largest vote total of any statewide candidate in that election.

Before her election as Attorney General, Madigan served in the Illinois Senate and worked as a litigator for a Chicago law firm. Prior to becoming an attorney, she was a teacher and community advocate, developing after-school programs to help keep kids involved in education and away from drugs and gangs. Madigan also volunteered as a high school teacher in South Africa during apartheid.

Madigan earned her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Clint Krislov

Clint Krislov, a graduate of Northwestern University (B.A. 1971), Phi Beta Kappa, and Cornell Law School (1974), is the founder and principal attorney of Krislov & Associates, Ltd. Mr. Krislov is admitted to practice in Illinois and Michigan state courts, the United States Supreme Court, numerous Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the trial bar of the federal court for the Northern District of Illinois. Mr. Krislov is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law, teaching courses in Consumer Protection Law (2001-present) and federal income tax (1976-7), and the author of several articles.

Matthew Sapaula

Matthew Sapaula, President of MatthewSapaula, Inc. began his career with a large brokerage firm in southern California after service in the military. Since then, he received instruction at DePaul University’s Financial Planning program and has been trained by senior experts in the financial planning industry. He was personally mentored in financial strategies involving real estate equity management by Douglas R. Andrew, author of Missed Fortune 101 and the New-York Times best-seller, Last Chance Millionaire. MatthewSapaula, Inc. leads the Chicago region as part of the national network of Missed Fortune TEAM providers by helping implement creative strategies with clients.

Cate Williams

Cate Williams is the Vice President of Financial Literacy for Money Management International (MMI). Ms. Williams served as the President of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Chicago (CCCS) for seven years prior to the organization’s merger with MMI. Her 21 years of work in various legal, collections, credit granting, and customer service positions have provided her with a vast array of credit and financial education knowledge.

Steve Baker

C. Steven Baker is Director of the Federal Trade Commission's Midwest Region in Chicago, a position he has held since 1988. The Region covers the central United States, and the office does primarily consumer protection work for the Commission, concentrating on consumer fraud matters such as telemarketing and spamming. The office works extensively on Cross-border fraud, and Mr. Baker is one of the founders of the Toronto Strategic Partnership. He is the senior regional director at the FTC. 

For more information about the FTC Credit Repair Kit log onto www.ftc.gov or call 877-FTC-HELP.

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