Susan Misur, New Haven Register

Ronni and George Mandell won’t go out with a whimper in the fight to keep their home. And they say because of that, Bank of America won’t modify their mortgage terms to a payment they can afford.

Bank of America offered the couple a chance to modify the loan on the Jones Street house they’ve owned for 10 years in order to make payments more manageable, but only with conditions that include essentially agreeing to a gag-order when it comes to the deal and the financial institution. That means keeping quiet about opinions of the bank on Facebook, blogs, websites and in the media, and taking down any existing postings — something that may be unexpected in a document relating to a financial matter.

The Mandells rejected the settlement.

“I cherish my rights to free speech,” George Mandell said. “We’re prepared to lose the house if we have to, but we’re going to fight it. We’re standing firm not just for ourselves, but hopefully for the rest of the people in the country. Because it’s gotta be cleaned up.”

The Mandells say people across the country are being presented with offers like this one from Bank of America and worry some aren’t reading the fine print. They’ve called or written to just about every agency out there that oversees banks and consumer affairs, as well as politicians, and expect the bank to begin foreclosure proceedings on their home in the next few weeks.

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