I’m not even sure if a site policy, disclaimer or terms is necessary for this site so I’m not doing any real legal speak here. But the use of the site by all is under the terms below.
The Sites Founding Principals
This site by the Myvesta Foundation is dedicated to providing the best information possible using journalistic research and efforts to provide readers with information they can use to make more informed decisions about debt related issues. This may include articles about how to do better, what to watch out for and stories about companies and entities that provide debt relief help. We make every attempt to make sure that advice is offered independent of any commercial objective or influence.
This Site is Absolutely Free to Use
Since there is no charge for the use of the site and information and we sell no products and services the site revenue must come from outside sources. Those sources may be from advertisements or help by others. All of those sources will be discussed openly below.
We find that by receiving income from outside sources we can reach and help the most amount of people with our free advice and service and do not have to charge readers for help. It’s a win-win solution and one which we attempt to guard with ferocity so that our work remains as independent as possible.
Why There Are Ads
Since this site does not charge users or visitors any fee, nor sell any products or services the reality is that any income this site derives from advertising helps to pay for the reporting, research, and journalistic work we do, just as any newspaper, magazine, news operation, television channel, radio station, or publication is supported by advertising revenue. It is because of the ads that this site can do all the good work it does.
Our work is not paid for by consumers or by creditors as credit counseling is, and we sell no services as debt relief companies do, there are no products to buy and we don’t even solicit contributions to help fund our work.
Information About Advertisements
Site visitors should exercise the same level of caution when selecting a merchant or provider from links or advertisements on this site as they would if they found the link elsewhere. The fact that an ad appears and is linked is NOT an endorsement from this site.
- Google Ads – We have no input or control over what ads appear. Different ads may appear based on where you are surfing from or some other factor Google uses to determine ads. The ads are automatically generated by Google using some magic mojo but the ads are typically contextual, meaning that they are displayed by Google using the content of the page as a clue about what to display. It is doubtful the ads on this site will be for playground equipment, purple puppies, or evening wear. It is very possible it will be about something credit or debt related since the ads are picked contextually and that’s what we write about.
And not every ad that appears is for some debt related service. Here is an example below.
Some people have made the claim that our writing is in an effort to display certain ads on the site for people to click on. That’s simply not true and does not make logical sense. If we write about my concerns about pink elephants, for example, and ads related to pink elephants appear on the page, it is not reasonable to assume that readers will then in turn click on an ad for pink elephants when we just warned them about those darn pink elephants. Ultimately we have no clue who clicks or does not click on an ad.
Here is what happens with the Google ads when we write about coupons. You can see how they are contextually based.
The Google ads appear the same way on this site as they do on other media sites like the Washington Post and the New York Times, for example.
Or even the Cornell University Law School site.
The ads are also great research for us and help us to spot new entities that make interesting or odd claims and that need our attention. We find them very helpful for research of new investigations and articles.
Another statement that has been made is that we could go in and block “bad” companies from advertising on this site. The reality is it would be a nightmare to be able to proactively discover all the bad actors in the world and then police filters to block them. Google takes a proactive role in doing that for us. Some might slip through. It’s a logistical nightmare. So we don’t do that, as the Washington Post and New York Times don’t do. We follow the standard practice for media outlets.
- Inline Links – These links will take visitors to on site additional information or off the site to entities that provide the corresponding service, which we may or may not receove some compensation for. For example, a link on the phrase “credit report” will take visitors to a outside credit report provider. A link to “debt snowball” will take visitors to a site page that describes the process of reducing debt using the debt snowball approach. These relationships and pages change as needed.
- Brokered Ads – This site may or may not utilize an independent advertising broker and representative to sell ads as well. The purpose of the independent broker is to separate advertising from editorial and construct a wall between the two sides of the publication. The site does not sell leads nor is paid any referral fee per client. Advertising fee relationships are traditional flat fee arrangements and are not handled by this site.
Information About Referrals
We are currently sending credit counseling requests to Cambridge Credit Counseling. Not only have we personally checked them out and visited their facility but they have proven to me over time they are good folks. They do give us some flat rate compensation each month to help support the work of this site but do not pay us for leads or sending people to them.
We also receive income from referrals to other outside companies like Lending Club, Prosper and some specific credit card offers like those from Credit.com. As of February 1, 2013 we also receive a small new subscriber compensation to ReadyForZero.com and we also get the same small compensation from CreditKarma.com when people register with them.
We refer people to Damon Day for personal individual counseling sessions to help them develop a game plan to dealing with their debt if they want to talk to someone individually. We do not receive any income from those referrals. Damon Day is also acting as the independent advertising broker for the site as well.
You Can Use Content From The Site
If we have published something of interest to your readers, you can quote a small part of the content and you are required that you link back to the original story on the site from where you use it. You will need to maintain any links from the excerpted content you use. Regular reposting of our content, such as scraping, or essentially reposting our RSS feed will result in a DMCA complaint and slap upside the head. We wish it did not have to be that way but so much content has been copied off the site without linking back that it is now irritating.
We don’t give people access to the email address you might provide us without your permission unless the issue at hand is one that regulators are looking into. In that case we may forward the information/comment you leave and email address on to government regulators to allow a regulator to contact you for more information so you can assist them, if you want, in their investigation of your issue.
If you have asked one of the site experts a question then your question will be forwarded to them and they will see your email address. If you have asked for help with a particular solution such as bankruptcy, debt settlement, credit counseling, etc. then your request will be forwarded to an outside entity that will have access to your email address.
When you submit a question through the site your email address will be automatically added to our daily email list so we can keep you posted of important debt relief issues. You may unsubscribe at any time with just one click. This site may track the IP address of visitors and it is possible that a cookie may be written to your computer to keep you logged in to the forum or comments, for example.
We will comply with any legal request for visitor information if required to do so. If we reasonably suspect that you have the site for an unauthorized, illegal, or criminal purpose, you give us express authorization to share information about you, all information, and any of your activity with law enforcement. If you want to contact the site about this policy, use contact information on this page.
We Are Not a Lawyers
The core advisors on the site are not lawyers, accountants, tax advisers, and anything else like that. While some material may contain legal information it is specifically not legal advice. Any advice that we might give that you might think might fall into any of those buckets is accidental and unintended. If you need legal advice or assurances the advice given applies to a specific situation you should personally contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.
The Limit of The Advice We Give
Let’s look at the situation for a moment, we answer debt questions and we do it solely based on the information that has been provided by the person asking the question, which is most often, limited. It would be impossible to give really detailed and specific advice without having more information at hand. The advice that we give is “as is”, if you want specific and personalized advice we would urge you to speak with a bankruptcy attorney, accountant, debt management company, debt settlement company, debt coach or someone else that we may have forgotten to mention. The advice given does not come with a warranty. It’s your job to evaluate the advice given and application of the advice.
Most of the content on the site in reviews or articles that we write is either sourced facts and/or our opinion about whatever subject we am writing about. Believe it or not, we are entitled to have an opinion and share it with readers.
Comments, Questions, Forum Posts and Advice From Others
Other people, unknown to us, may offer advice and suggestions via the website in user submitted content. All that advice and information is “as is” and we have nothing to do with it. If you elect to follow it, that is up to you. User content does not reflect our views and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for any user content, questions, comments or forum posts or for any claims, damages, or losses resulting from any use of the Site or the materials contained therein. User supplied content may be edited or deleted if necessary but that happens only under the rarest of situations.
Commenters may be blocked or deleted at will by this site. If you have a concern over a comment posted you can flag it for moderation and it will be reviewed. Comments are not moderated in advance. If legal action is taken against a comment made by you, you will be responsible for defending your statements made.
As a rule, once comments are posted, they remain on the site. Comments are generally not deleted so if you want to change or delete your comment you will need to post a followup comment to the one in question to explain your change.
Please note that once you post a comment or content, it becomes part of the public conversation. Our policy is that we will not remove a user’s content unless they are in violation of our Terms of Service, and we won’t remove them otherwise except in very extreme circumstances. So if you want to say something that you will later regret personally, it is advisable that you use a username and IP address that does not identify you. We cannot simply remove your content because you have a change of heart about making those statements.
Our comment policy mirrors that of other sites like The Daily Beast. Commenters are able to edit their comments for a few minutes after submission. They do have a second chance to change or alter their comment. – Source. Slate has a similar policy and they say, “We don’t allow people to delete or edit their comments, because we don’t want to allow people to disrupt discussions in the middle of a thread.” – Source. Even Gawker and the Washington Post have similar no comment deletion policies. – Source, Source
What To Do If You Find The Information On This Site Helpful
If you want to help us, help others, the best thing you can do is tell others about this site. You can do that by submitting the site or article URL to places like Digg, Stumble Upon, Slashdot, etc. Feel free to talk about this site on any forum or place on the web where people might be that I could help with my free advice. Here is a quick list of six free ways you can help.
We Are Just Trying To Do a Good Thing
If you have an issue or problem with any advice that we’ve given, please post it in the comments for that question. There are always alternative points of view and it is helpful for everybody to discuss them. We am not a debt Gods, although some of us have played one on the television show “Starting Over.” We are fallible as everyone is. Most importantly, advice and options change over time but we just can’t go back and edit all past questions with new information. If you don’t like the advice or opinions we offer your sole remedy is to stick your tongue out at the screen and not use the site.
What We Don’t Do
We do not provide any services directly to individual consumers through private coaching, consultations or any paid services. We do not sell any products we or others create and we don’t charge for the general help we give others and we do not charge for investigate reports and research we do.
What Happens When You Email Us
When you email using the email address below we may use your first name from your email as the name on my answer or post. We will never revel your email address or release it to any other party without your permission, unless required by law. Your email address is totally safe with us. We hate spam as much as you do.
If we are falling behind in answering questions we may post your question on the site so you can get an answer as quickly as possible from readers.
If we post it to the site you will be notified of any response.
We reserve the right to post any question or information publicly on the site from any email address sent to us or via an online submission form.
Let’s Talk About All User Submitted Content in General
Once a question, comment, guest post, or any user or third-party supplied information is published on the site it becomes the property of the site to do with it as is needed but the user remains solely liable and responsible for their submitted content. We make no assurances of the truth, quality, or accuracy of user supplied content.
This submitted information is not deleted later. If you submitted information and need to make a correction or retraction to a statement you made and submitted, we will gladly publish your error correction, addendum or retraction in conjunction with the original content submitted.
Some submitted user content may be posted by this site as comments on the site if they relate to a question or article already posted.
Bottom line, if you don’t want your content, statement, question or comment to appear on the site, don’t submit it.
We Tried to Avoid it but Now for Some Legal Language
THIS SITE, THE MYVESTA FOUNDATION AND STEVE RHODE (“GETOUTOFDEBT.ORG”) SHALL IN NO EVENT BE RESPONSIBLE TO, OR LIABLE TO, YOU, OR ANY THIRD PARTY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, WARRANTY, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE) OR OTHERWISE, FOR ANY DAMAGES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES THAT INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, DAMAGES FOR ANY LOSS OF PROFIT, REVENUE OR BUSINESS, AS A DIRECT OR INDIRECT RESULT OF: (I) YOUR BREACH OR VIOLATION OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT; (II) YOUR ACCESS AND USE OF GETOUTOFDEBT.ORG; (III) YOUR DELAY IN ACCESSING OR INABILITY TO ACCESS OR USE GETOUTOFDEBT.ORG FOR ANY REASON; (IV) YOUR DOWNLOADING OF ANY OF THE CONTENT OR THE COLLECTIVE WORK FOR YOUR USE; (V) YOUR RELIANCE UPON OR USE OF THE CONTENT OR THE COLLECTIVE WORK, OR (VI) ANY INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS OR SERVICES OBTAINED THROUGH GETOUTOFDEBT.ORG, OR OTHERWISE ARISING OUT OF THE USE OF GETOUTOFDEBT.ORG, WHETHER RESULTING IN WHOLE OR IN PART, FROM BREACH OF CONTRACT, TORTUOUS BEHAVIOR, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF GETOUTOFDEBT.ORG AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS HAD BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF DAMAGES. THE LIABILITY AND THE LIABILITY OF ITS AFFILIATES, DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES AND AGENTS ARISING OUT OF THIS AGREEMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED $100.
YOU SPECIFICALLY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT GETOUTOFDEBT.ORG NOT BE LIABLE FOR USER GENERATED CONTENT OR THE DEFAMATORY, OFFENSIVE OR ILLEGAL CONDUCT OF ANY THIRD PARTY, AND THAT THE RISK OF HARM OR DAMAGE FROM SUCH USER GENERATED CONTENT AND THIRD-PARTY CONDUCT RESTS ENTIRELY WITH YOU.
YOU AND WE AGREE THAT ANY CAUSE OF ACTION ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO GETOUTOFDEBT.ORG MUST COMMENCE WITHIN ONE (1) YEAR AFTER THE CAUSE OF ACTION ACCRUES. OTHERWISE, SUCH CAUSE OF ACTION IS PERMANENTLY BARRED.
Why We Do Not Alter Past Stories
I’m sometimes asked by people or companies we’ve previously written about to change a past story. We don’t do that. If the entity has recognized they needed to alter or address an issue, then removing the past story does not help to reinforce they’ve taken positive steps to better serve consumers. That makes for a much more beneficial and positive story for the entity in question.
We read the following passage from the Detroit News newspaper where they addressed a similar issue.
Once the review was published we should have maintained the wording in all our formats and avoided any sense that we were acting at the influence of any interest aside from our readers’ interest.
Why is that so important? The credibility of our journalism is our calling card to your doorstep and your digital screen. We simply cannot act at any behest but yours and we must avoid any appearance to the contrary.
It is a fact of life that our reviews will sometimes ruffle commercial feathers. For example, in our On Screen section Friday, one of our movie reviews appeared under the headline, “‘Kaboom’ is incompetent, absurd.” Whether we are reviewing a movie or a new Thai restaurant or a $90,000 sportster, our readers must be certain they have the author’s unvarnished opinion, free of any commercial or outside consideration – Source
If You Are Pissed Off at Us Because of This Site
It is not our intention but sometimes we actually accidentally piss some people off because of something we’ve written on this site. Typically it is companies we’ve written about that don’t like the information we’ve presented and they want us to remove my article, post, or opinion so as not to inform consumers.
It is always our intention to write articles and posts factually and without error. If you feel we got something wrong in our reporting, just let us know in the comments to that post and we’ll gladly review the information again and if we got something factually wrong we’ll gladly correct it. Use this form to report errors.
There is a right way and wrong way to respond.
- The Wrong Way to Respond
When you respond in the wrong way with attacks and flames it only makes you look worse and convinces people you have something to hide or deflect.
- The Right Way to Respond
We encourage anyone that may disagree with something we’ve written to post their point of view or opinion in the comments to that post. An exchange of ideas is always beneficial and while we may see something as red, someone else might see it as green. Let’s talk about it.
The best way for someone to respond is to state which facts were incorrect and why in a conversational tone so we can discuss it openly and transparently.
But You Got Something Wrong About Me/Us in an Article You Published
We always strive for accuracy but sometimes we may accidentally get something wrong. We are all human. If we did get something wrong it was not intentional or malicious. It was an error. If you spot something we may have accidentally got wrong we encourage you to speak up and use this form to report errors and this form to report typos.
Threatening Us Doesn’t Work
Some people try to intimidate me by threatening lawsuits or sternly worded letters from attorneys in an effort to scare us into removing posts. Those efforts have the opposite effect on us and typically lead us to spend more time further investigating what us originally wrote about. It’s actually coincidental, we find myself refocusing on the subject when we have to go back and review the original post in dispute.
If you still want to take a run at us legally, send me a nastygram or a cease and desist letter, then you should contact our lawyer, Chris Livingston, Esq. Mr. Livingston is a tough consumer advocacy attorney that aggressively represents me.
Chris Livingston Esq.
PO Box 220
White Oak NC 28399
And if you’d like to find out what his favorite ammo or weapons are, you can visit his site. Mr. Livingston is exactly what every liberal consumer advocate writer needs; a tough, gun toting, in your face, take no prisoners, lawyer.
Our Debt Relief Company and Site Review Policy
From time-to-time we may write about a specific company or review a debt relief web site. It is important to put those reviews or writings about another website into context.
The purpose of the GetOutOfDebt.org site is to educate and help consumers who are facing a credit, debt or financial situation.
From time-to-time we do write about or write reviews about companies and/or sites, primarily in the debt relief world. So we wanted to help explain our policy and approach in reviewing sites or companies. in fact you may be reading this now because we wrote a review about your company.
We have no vendetta against any single person or company. The reviews or articles we write are not the result of us hunting down a company or targeting a particular company. They are the result of a question from a reader or information in a story or press release the company itself sent out that we saw and it piqued our curiosity.
We need to start with the same understanding, that consumers in financial trouble create for themselves a disadvantaged class of people that need information in order to be able to make good decisions to find an appropriate remedy to their situation. All good companies would agree it is a good thing for consumers to make informed decisions. As Sy Syms always said, “An educated consumer is our best customer.”
Information presented in our articles and reviews is for the most part the result of online research, our opinion and public information that we feel is important for readers to know. From time-to-time we receive emails sent to [email protected] and from tipster (send in your tips here)s and people with inside knowledge about a particular company. Much of that information we never publish.
The information in the reviews comes from public information that exists already about companies that people can find by searching online.
This site works best when two sides of an issue can be presented and the reader can read both sides and make up their own mind. This goes for reviews and articles about companies as well. We always welcome the company we may have written about to post a response in the comments of that article so any reader can read it to hear their side of an issue.
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Notice
If you would like to submit a DMCA issue, our designated agent is:
Fred Samuels, Esq.
Cahn & Samuels, LLP
1100 17th Street Northwest #401
Washington, DC 20036
We will respond expeditiously to notices of claimed copyright infringement and if we become aware that one of our users is a repeat copyright infringer, it is our policy to take reasonable steps within our power to terminate that user.
A proper notice of claimed infringement must include:
- a physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the infringed copyright;
- identification of the copyrighted work or works claimed to have been infringed;
- identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed;
- information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party (e.g., the address, telephone number, or email address);
- a statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material is not authorized by the copyright owner; and
- a statement that information in the complaint is accurate and that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.