By MATT BLOIS
The Franklin media company started by personal finance guru Dave Ramsey is suing a real estate YouTuber for breach of contract, stealing trade secrets and disparaging the company in videos.
Ramsey Solutions claims that Kevin Paffrath, a real estate investor in Southern California who posts advice about the industry on YouTube, fraudulently joined a program that sends businesses new clients and published propriety information and disparaging comments online.
In court filings, Paffrath claims that the lawsuit is simply an attempt at censorship and a violation of his free speech.
Ramsey Solutions’ Endorsed Local Providers program is essentially a directory of real estate agents, insurance agents and tax preparation services that have been vetted by Ramsey’s company.
Ramsey’s listeners can search for services in their area on the company’s website. Ramsey’s company gets a fee for referring clients to those businesses.
The businesses in this directory also get access to what Ramsey Solutions calls proprietary information, such as marketing data.
According to Ramsey Solutions’ complaint, Paffrath applied to the program and was approved.
Ramsey Solutions claims Paffrath didn’t communicate well with the company, which is a requirement for businesses listed on the website, so Ramsey Solutions removed him from the directory.
In court documents, Paffrath claims that he was available for calls, and that some of the communication requirements weren’t spelled out in a contract.
After ending his relationship with Ramsey Solutions, Paffrath made videos mocking Dave Ramsey and criticizing his business practices.
In one of Paffrath’s videos titled “Dave Ramsey: Exposed,” Ramsey Solutions claims that Paffrath told viewers Ramsey’s company provides “cold as ice leads” and receives a fee for “doing nothing.”
The videos mentioned in the lawsuit are no longer available on YouTube. Ramsey Solutions asked a judge to make Paffrath remove the videos in its complaint.
Ramsey Solutions also claims Paffrath disseminated information about the referral program, such as the fees that Ramsey’s company collected and marketing data, that the company considered proprietary.
Ramsey Solutions claims the disparaging comments about the company and the release of information from the referral program were breaches of a contract Paffrath signed when he joined the referral program.
In court documents, Paffrath claims that he didn’t break any contracts because he ended his relationship with Ramsey Solutions before making the videos.
Paffrath claims that Ramsey’s company is simply upset because his YouTube videos mocking Ramsey were successful.
Ramsey Solutions filed the case in Williamson County chancery court on Dec. 3 of 2018, but it was moved to federal court on Dec. 28 of 2018.