Judge Orders Bad Boys Bail Bonds to Stop Collecting on $38 Million from Unlawful Contracts in Class Action Suit

For Immediate Release

April 9, 2021

Media Contact

Sam Lew, 415-272-8022, slew@lccrsf.org

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the SF Bay Area

***PRESS RELEASE***

Judge Orders Bad Boys Bail Bonds to Stop Collecting on $38 Million from Unlawful Contracts in Class Action Suit

ALAMEDA, CA — This afternoon, a California Superior Court judge granted a preliminary injunction in a class action suit by cosigners on Bad Boys Bail Bonds contracts.  The historic class action suit challenges Bad Boys’ long-standing practice of extracting huge sums of money from cosigners in violation of consumer protection laws.  

Judge Brad Seligman of the Alameda County Superior Court found that the class action suit against Bad Boys is likely to succeed, ordered Bad Boys to stop filing lawsuits against cosigners who did not receive notices required by California law, and ordered Bad Boys to stop any attempt to collect from them.  Since 2017, Bad Boys has issued over 18,000 bail bond contracts. The outstanding debt on those contracts totals nearly $34.5 million. Judge Seligman’s order stops Bad Boys from filing legal actions or engaging in any other debt collection efforts against people duped into cosigning Bad Boys’ bail agreements. 

 “The Court’s order lays bare Bad Boys Bail Bonds’ repeated violation of California’s consumer protection laws and their illegal exploitation of low-income people who use bail services and their loved ones,” said Elisa Della-Piana, Legal Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. “The need for court intervention is a sign of systemic failure: Bail companies like Bad Boys will continue to exploit and extract wealth from those who are most vulnerable.”  

“Bad Boys Bail Bonds’ unlawful deception plunged me into debt and caused me tremendous pain after I bailed out a friend. Over months, they relentlessly threatened and harassed me, my mother, and my employer, claiming I had unpaid debt. The judge’s order is a tremendous relief for me and thousands of other Californians who have cosigned with Bad Boys,” said plaintiff Kiara Caldwell, who is represented by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area and Keker, Van Nest and Peters LLP. 

Bad Boys requires cosigners on its credit bail agreements to assume responsibility for the entire amount of bail bond premiums. Cosigners often believe that they need to only pay an upfront amount to bail their loved one out of jail, only to later find themselves saddled with thousands of dollars in bail debt. Bad Boys violated California consumer law by failing to inform Ms. Caldwell and others in her position about the true nature of the contracts they signed. 

“The Court’s order should be a wake-up call to California’s commercial bail bond industry,” said Niall Mackay Roberts, an associate with Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP. “Bail bond companies like Bad Boys are not above the law. And the people they’ve been cheating, harassing, and stealing from are prepared to prove it.” 

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