Yesterday this reporter and this media outlet received a letter from Morgan Drexen titled Morgan Drexen’s Demand to Cease and Desist Illegal Activity.
Ultimately their demand is that this journalist and publication should “remove any and all reference to Morgan Drexen” as a condition “to Morgan Drexen agreeing not to pursue its damage claims against you.”
The irony is that besides articles which include Morgan Drexen, this site has also posted press releases issued by Morgan Drexen. So it appears the goal is not to correct a specific issue but to wipe their name from the face of this media outlet.
Attached to the cover letter was a “draft of the complaint Morgan Drexen has instructed us to file against you and your website if this matter is not resolved to my client’s satisfaction.” The problem is that the lawsuit Morgan Drexen wants to file is full of errors and information that is just factually not correct. It also appears to be an attempt to restrict free speech and to silence reporting and assisting consumers.
Your Help is Needed to Help Continue Free Speech to Protect Consumers and Good Debt Relief Companies – Click Here
Morgan Drexen states in their letter, “Over the past few months, you and the website you operate, GetOutOfDebt.org have fabricated web postings about Morgan Drexen and have improperly attempted to interfere with its business. While Morgan Drexen has no objection to vigorous competition, the use of false and misleading statements when describing a competitor crosses the line…”
So let’s look at what was posted over the past few months. Here are the postings tagged with Morgan Drexen:
- Morgan Drexen Loses Bronze Accreditation From DSCP
- How Do I Cancel a Debt Settlement Company Contract With Morgan Drexen. – Walter
- Morgan Drexen Says Debt Settlement Has Become a Dirty Word in Recent Months Morgan Drexen Press Release
- Bankruptcy Filings are Down, Should this Form of Debt Resolution be the Last Resort? Morgan Drexen Press Release
- Harvey Z. Warren Publishes New Book, Drop Debt. Brings Back to Mind a Bit of FTC Past That Tangles In Walter Ledda, CEO of Morgan Drexen
- 1000 Financially Stressed Consumers Graduate from the Attorney Based Debt Resolution Program Morgan Drexen Press Release
- Sorry to Say I Also Have Fallen Into the Morgan Drexen Scam. – Alberto
- As Many Americans Face Rising Debt they Are Tapping in Their 401(K), Morgan Drexen Say This Should be A Last Resort Morgan Drexen Press Release
- Morgan Drexen Welcome Consumer Protection: However, Is Enough Being Done? Morgan Drexen Press Release
- Lights, Camera, Save, Financial Education is the Key to Avoid Rising Debt Morgan Drexen Press Release
- Morgan Drexen Partners with the Make-A-Wish® Foundation of Orange County and the Inland Empire to Sponsor a Young Boys’ All-Star Baseball Wish Morgan Drexen Press Release
- Does Debtors Jail Exist in the 21st Century or is this a Scare Tactic Used by Creditors Morgan Drexen Press Release
The statement perplexes me. This site and my work is not a competitor of Morgan Drexen. I provide no debt settlement services and get paid no fee for debt settlement referrals. If the arguement is this site has ads on it which may contain links to competitors, I have no hand in the selection of ads that appear on the site, like most media outlets. All of this is addressed openly and transparently in the site terms.
The allegation that this site has fabricated web postings is preposterous and damages this site and this reporter.
In fact on occasion I have attempted to work closely with the public relations department of Morgan Drexen in order to get their position and statements on a number of issues. But that was a very difficult experience.
I wrote about one such encounter with the PR department of Morgan Drexen, here.
Morgan Drexen claims this site is engaging in “misconduct with the intention of causing financial harm to Morgan Drexen.” And while they can believe that, it is utterly ridiculous.
Help This Site Fight Back Against The Threats of Morgan Drexen – Click Here
So here is the heart of there issue. I’ve tried to work with them on it before and in fact had closely participated with a Morgan Drexen attorney behind the scenes and dealt with the situation in what I thought was a very reasonable manner.
Much of this information would have remained secret if it were not for this unsubstantiated attack by Morgan Drexen. In order to state the facts I now need to disclose information about the William-Bob issue.
From the letter yesterday,
I call to your attention one posting that was allegedly made by a Morgan Drexen client identified as William, regarding how to “get out of” his contract. You publicly advised this alleged customer of how to avoid making payments to Morgan Drexen and ultimately recind a valid, enforceable contract. As you know, representatives of Morgan Drexen were able to ascertain the true identity of “William” and learned that he and his wife, [Redacted by me. Interestingly I did not know the wife’s name till Morgan Drexen just told me what it was. Whose disclosing information?], had never made any such posting and had no desire whatsover to end their relationship with Morgan Drexen. You eventually agreed to remove this post, but then reposted the exact same question and answer under the pseudonym “Bob.” Our investigations have led us to believe that similar posts have been made that lack any factual basis.”
William – Bob
So here are the facts of that issue.
This site receives information from the public and questions in order to assist consumers that have financial problems. The questions are posted by members of the public and in accordance with Section 230 of Title 47 of the United States Code (47 USC § 230) this site and this reporter are protected under the law.
Section 230 says that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” This federal law preempts any state laws to the contrary: “[n]o cause of action may be brought and no liability may be imposed under any State or local law that is inconsistent with this section.”
On August 2, 2010 this site received the question below from someone that identified himself as William.
A new submission (form: “Ask a Question”)
Submitted on: August 2, 2010
By [Redacted] (visitor IP). [I can’t tell you the IP address but it indicates the question came from the Florida.]
—————I Am Here For You. Let Me Help.————
First Name: William
Email Address: [Redacted]
Situation/Background: My husband and I are in credit card debt in the amount of $170,000. We have ad severe medical bills since 1997. My husband had quadruple by-pass and has severe CHF, he is 79 years of age. I have had cancer twice and had to have my right leg amputated due to cancer. I am in a wheelchair and I’m 68 years of age. We just signed up with a company called MorganDrexen out of Anaheim, CA. and I just found out that they have an F rating with the BBB. Can we get out of this contract? They recceived our signed copy on Friday of last week. Please help us in any way you can. We are desparate. Thank you.
Your Question: Can we get out of this contract we signed on July 30th? If so, who do you recommend to us for help? Thank you
On August 3rd this site and this reporter answered the reader question under the title We Are Disabled. How Can I Get Out of My Morgan Drexen Contract? – William. I said:
No worries. Call your bank and change your bank account number to prevent any debits by Morgan Drexen. Then call morgan Drexen and tell them you are canceling your agreement with them, and follow that up by sending Morgan Drexen a certified return receipt requested letter notifying them you have cancelled your contract.
That should do it.