It’s time to rally for free speech-a right that a West Haven couple is being asked to forfeit in exchange for a mortgage modification from Bank of America.
George and Ronnie Mandell were asked to sign a modification contract containing a gag clause prohibiting the borrowers from speaking to media outlets or publishing information or commentary pertaining to Bank of America, the proposed contract, or the 18-month negotiation process leading up to it, among other restrictions. A link to the contract and gag clause can be found on our Facebook page:
Bank of America threw the gag clause into the proposed deal due to efforts by the Mandells to publicize its harassment and intimidation tactics.Details regarding the events during that period can be found here:
Bank of America is playing on the prospect that the Mandells are so desperate for a modification, that they are willing to give away their First Amendment rights and allow the bank’s low ball tactics to fly under the radar, but George and Ronnie are having nothing of it. They refused to buy into the bank’s bid to protect itself from bad publicity. They refused to sign the contract/gag clause, and are willing to face the wrath of a powerful and predatory institution that is sure to come as a result of that decision.
We are demanding that the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs fulfill its obligation to protect the rights guaranteed to the Mandells-as well as every other U.S. citizen-by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, which they have sworn to uphold. We are demanding that they force Bank of America to remove the gag clause from the existing contract, or any other deal that may come to exist as a result of their negotiations.
Sign this petition and join the Mandells in saying no to the gag clause, because this is not just about George and Ronnie. How we handle this sets a precedent for any other family or homeowner Bank of America may try to bully. You have the power to fight for the First Amendment-by using it to tell Bank of America to take the gag clause out of their deal with the Mandells. All it takes is your signature. Thank you.