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CA Supreme Court Ends Bail Companies’ Collections in Violation of Consumer Protection Law

  • Written by Steel Rose

The California Supreme Court declined to review the California Court of Appeal’s decision holding that bail bonds companies must follow consumer protection laws that protect Californians from exploitative business practices. The Court of Appeal’s public decision affirmed a preliminary injunction from Alameda County Superior Court that stopped Bad Boys Bail Bonds’s debt collection of $38 million from more than 18,000 bail bond contracts signed since 2017, by families of arrestees who could not afford to post bail.

The decision conclusively prevents Bad Boys from filing legal actions or engaging in any other debt collection efforts against people who were allegedly duped into cosigning Bad Boys’ bail agreements during the pendency of litigation.

The lawsuit was filed by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area and Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP.

“We are ecstatic about the Supreme Court’s decision to deny review, which highlights the strength of our class action claims and signals to all bail bond companies that they will be held to account for violating consumer protection laws,” said Rio Scharf, Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Donna Zamora-Stevens, an associate with Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP, sees the Supreme Court’s decision as a victory for thousands of “preyed-upon” Californians who signed paperwork to get their loved ones out of jail, without being aware of the huge debt amounts that await them.

They are gratified by the Court’s decision and look forward to continue pursuing this historic class-action lawsuit, one of the first to challenge commercial bail bond companies for violating consumer protection laws.

The civil rights lawyers said Bad Boys has used illegal means to extract huge sums of money from low-income families on the false promise of helping get their loved ones released from jail for only a small fee.

These family members sign credit bail agreements that hold them responsible for the entire bail amount owed—without the mandatory cosigner disclosures required under California law.

Cosigners would later find themselves saddled with thousands of dollars in debt about which Bad Boys failed to provide them statutorily required notice. To read more click here.