Criminal Justice Debt: 2022 Federal Legislative Priorities

Collection Actions

Collection Actions

Details consumer defenses to debt buyer and creditor collection lawsuits on credit card, medical, and other consumer debts.

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The U.S. criminal justice system disproportionately burdens low-income individuals and people of color, as well as their families and communities.  The National Consumer Law Center focuses on the intersection of criminal and consumer law, and their role in equitable criminal justice reform.

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  • Group letter supporting the inclusion of the COVID-19 Compassion and Martha Wright Prison Phone Justice provisions of HR 6800 in the next COVID-19 package, August 11, 2020
  • Written Testimony of NCLC before the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Joint Committee on the Judiciary Supporting H.4652, An Act Regarding Decarceration and COVID-19, May 5, 2020

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  • Crain & Serna v Accredited Surety and Casualty Co., et al., Case No RG1900-4509 Complaint and Press Release
    NCLC has filed a class-action lawsuit, with our partners at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP, Justice Catalyst Law, Public Counsel, and Towards Justice, in which we are challenging a scheme to inflate the price of bail premiums in the state of California. The lawsuit was filed in California state court on Jan 29, 2019, against the surety companies that underwrite bail bonds and the state and national trade associations representing the bail bond industry. Plaintiffs allege that an unlawful antitrust conspiracy has kept bail bond premiums higher than they would be if the California bail-bonds market functioned competitively. This scheme, ongoing since at least 2004, has not only made bail bonds costlier for California consumers, but also resulted in more people spending time in jail while awaiting trial–separated from their families, jobs, and lives. The suit seeks damages for the hundreds of thousands of Californians who have overpaid for unlawfully inflated bail bond premiums and also injunctive relief to end the overcharges going forward.
  • Pearson et al v Hodgson and Securus Technologies, Inc, Case No. 18-1360,  Complaint and Press Release
  • Egana v Blair’s Bail Bonds, Inc. Case No. 2:17-cv-5899 First Amended Complaint
    Plaintiffs, an accused and others who agreed to indemnify the bail bond company in case of loss, filed this action on behalf of themselves and all individuals whose rights under federal and state law were violated when they contracted with Defendants for a bail bond to secure their own or their loved ones’ release from jail. The Amended Complaint describes the process through which Defendant bail bond company agreed to allow plaintiffs to finance the premium for the bond, but utilized contracts that violate the Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq. by failing to make necessary disclosures, and state contract, conversion, and usury laws by requiring payment of amounts above what state law allows, including paying daily fees for ankle monitors supplied by another company. The FAC also alleges that Defendants violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1962 (RICO) and the Louisiana Racketeering Act, La. Stat. Ann. § 15:1351, by conspiring to employ or contract with bounty hunters to kidnap, detain, and threaten to jail principals unless they or their loved ones paid money that was distributed between Defendants. NCLC’s co-counsel are The Southern Poverty Law Center and the firm of Wilmer Hale

Amicus Briefs

  • Amicus Brief supporting Caldwell in BBBB Bonding Corp. v. Caldwell, Aug. 25, 2021
  • Amicus Brief supporting Plaintiff in Scholl v. Mnuchin, Aug. 21, 2020
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