Vasquez et al. v. Libre by Nexus
Vasquez v Libre by Nexus
Case No. 4:17-cv-755-CW

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • You received a Notice because a Settlement has been reached in this Action. If you are a member of the Settlement Class you may be eligible for the relief detailed below.

    The United States District Court for the Northern District of California has ordered the issuance of the Notice in this Action. The Notice explains the nature of the Action, the general terms of the proposed Settlement, and your legal rights and obligations.

  • Plaintiffs Juan Quintanilla Vasquez, Gabriela Perdomo Ortiz, Victor Hugo Catalan, and Kevin Calderon (the “Class Representatives”) filed a lawsuit against LBN on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated. The lawsuit alleges LBN deceived consumers into believing, among other things, that LBN was their only option to leave detention, that the financial terms were manageable, that LBN could return them to detention, and that wearing an LBN ankle “bracelet” would not be onerous, when in fact the terms of LBN’s loans are alleged to be onerous and exploitative. The lawsuit also alleges that LBN unlawfully charges its clients exorbitant fees to “lease” an ankle bracelet that is not required by law. Plaintiffs claim that as a result of LBN’s false and deceptive practices, consumers desperate for themselves or their loved ones to be released from immigration detention suffered money damages.

    LBN denies each and every one of the allegations of unlawful conduct, any wrongdoing, and any liability whatsoever, and believes its actions complied with applicable law. LBN has asserted many defenses it believes would succeed at trial. No court or other entity has made any judgment or other determination of any liability. LBN further denies that any Class Member is entitled to any relief and, other than for settlement purposes, that this Action is appropriate for certification as a class action.

    The issuance of this Notice is not an expression of the Court’s opinion on the merits or the lack of merits of the Representative Plaintiffs’ claims in the Action.

  • In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called “Representative Plaintiff(s)” (in this Action, Juan Quintanilla Vasquez, Gabriela Perdomo Ortiz, Victor Hugo Catalan Molina, and Kevin Calderon) sue on behalf of other people who allegedly have similar claims. For purposes of this proposed Settlement, one court will resolve the issues for all Class Members. The company sued in this case, LBN, is called the Defendant.

  • The Representative Plaintiffs have made claims against LBN. LBN denies that it has done anything wrong or illegal and admits no liability. The Court has not decided that the Class Representatives or LBN should win this Action or any other pending action. Instead, both sides agreed to a Settlement. That way, they avoid the cost of a trial, and the Settlement Class Members will receive relief now rather than years from now, if at all.

  • The Court has decided that everyone who fits any of these descriptions is a Settlement Class Member for purposes of the proposed Settlement:

    Settlement Class: All current or former LBN “program participants” and “sponsors” who paid, or caused to be paid on their behalf, a fee to LBN.

    • Current Program Participant Payment Subclass: All current LBN “program participants” and “sponsors” who paid, or caused to be paid, or caused to be paid on their behalf, a fee to LBN.
    • Former and Current Program Participant Payment Subclass: All former LBN “program participants” who paid, or caused to be paid on their behalf, a Program Payment to LBN and all current LBN program participants who, within six months of final approval of the settlement have been issued a Form I-391.
    • Sponsor Payment Subclass: All sponsors of members of the Former and Current Program Participants Payments Subclass who paid a fee to LBN, including any initial payment or set up fee.

     

    Excluded from the Settlement Class are individuals for whom LBN or any surety or bond company has paid a treasury invoice or the bond or for whom a demand for payment for breach of a bond has been made by the U.S. Government which remains outstanding or open. Also excluded from the Settlement Class are LBN and its current and former employees, the Court, the Court’s staff, and their families. All persons who properly execute and file a timely request for exclusion are also excluded from the Settlement Class.

  • If you are not sure whether you are included, you can contact the Settlement Administrator or contact your lawyers.

  • The relief you are eligible for will depend on which Subclass you belong to.

    Payments

    All members of the Former and Current Program Participant Payment Subclass or the Sponsor Payment Subclass who timely provide the participant’s I-391 to LBN or the Settlement Administrator, and who do not opt out of the Settlement, are entitled to receive a check or electronic payment to be issued by the Settlement Administrator from the Cash Settlement Amount. The Cash Settlement Amount is $750,000, to be funded by LBN. The attorneys’ fees and costs to be paid to Class Counsel, the awards to the Class Representatives for bringing this Action, and the costs of the Settlement Administrator for providing notice to the Settlement Class of the Settlement and administering the settlement, will not be subtracted from the Cash Settlement Amount. The actual amount of the cash settlement distributed to each Settlement Class Member will be determined by the number of eligible Settlement Class Members six months after final approval of the settlement and the number of eligible Settlement Class Members who cash or otherwise negotiate their checks or electronic payments.

    Debt Forgiveness

    All members of the Current Program Participant Payment Subclass, who do not opt out of the Settlement, will receive debt relief. The debt relief will consist of credits made to the accounts of current program participants for past due program fees due and owing as of the date the Plaintiffs file their motion for Preliminary Approval.

    The debt relief will amount to $3.2 million, minus the Cash Settlement Amount ($750,000), attorneys’ fees and costs to be paid to Class Counsel, the awards to the Class Representatives for bringing this Action, and settlement administrative costs. Class Counsel intends to seek attorney’s fees and costs in the amount of 25% of the Settlement Amount, or $800,000, and service awards for the Class Representatives in the amount of $10,000 each, or $40,000 total. Settlement administrative costs are capped at $80,000 Thus, estimated debt relief provided to the Current Program Participant Payment Subclass is $1.53 million. The actual amount of credit provided to each Settlement Class Member will also depend on the number of eligible Settlement Class Members.

    Discounts

    Members of the Current Program Participant Subclass who make three (3) consecutive monthly payments on time and in full will have their monthly recurring fee reduced by ten percent (10%) going forward. For instance, if a participant makes three full and timely payments in February, March, and April, they are entitled to the 10% discount for May and June and the months afterward; for logistical reasons, LBN may not identify the participant until July or apply the discount until August, but the participant should be credited at the reduced rate for May and June (even if the participant made a late or partial payment those months).

    Members of the Current Program Participant Subclass who make an additional three (3) consecutive monthly payments on time and in full (for a total of 6 consecutive on time and in full payments) will have their monthly recurring fee reduced going forward by a further ten percent (10%) from the original fee amount set for each program participant for a total of a twenty percent (20%) discount from their original recurring fee.

    Furthermore, Members of the Current Program Participant Subclass who pay more than $420 in monthly recurring program fees, and who pay on time and in full by the first of the month, will have their recurring fees for those months reduced to $415. For instance, if a Member of the Current Program Participant Subclass pays $475 in monthly recurring program fees, and that Subclass Member pays on time and in full on August 1, then that Subclass Members’ payment for the month of August will be $415.

    Cap on Payments

    LBN will change its policy so that a customer’s total monthly program payments – excluding the initial payment and set up fees – will not exceed the total amount of their immigration bond.

    Non-Monetary Relief

    In addition to the monetary benefits described above, LBN will comply with the following business practices:

    • Translate its contract into Spanish and any other language for which there are at least 5% program participants;
    • Post written and audio versions of its contract, in Spanish, on its website;
    • Ensure the contract terms are clear and concise;
    • Use best efforts to mail the contract to program participants for review, prior to their release from ICE custody;
    • Ensure that sponsors have sufficient opportunity to review the contract in their preferred language, consult with an attorney, and discuss the contract with the program participant;
    • Provide prospective program participants with the LBN contract;
    • Abstain from verbal or written threats to report any program participant, sponsor, or family member to ICE or otherwise threaten immigration detention, although LBN may continue to inform its customers of the potential consequences of failing to appear for hearings;
    • Modify language in its contract regarding potential criminal prosecution for tampering with the ankle bracelet device;
    • Provide fee waivers of at least $150,000 per year for financially distressed clients and provide forms for this program on its website;
    • Remove a program participant’s ankle bracelet within 14 days of the program participant’s request to have it removed for pregnancy or medical necessity, if the participant presents to a LBN office, or within 60 days if the participant is not able to visit a LBN office.
    • Discontinue the use of ankle bracelets for any program participant whose bond is under $7,500;
    • Remove a program participant’s ankle bracelet and stop monthly payments upon verification that the program participant’s immigration removal case has been closed;
    • Reduce the use of ankle bracelets generally, transition to an upgraded ankle bracelet that does not require the wearer to be tethered to an electrical outlet while the device recharges by December 31, 2020, and transition to a wrist bracelet monitor or other similarly less intrusive monitor, such as cellular telephones or periodic check-ins, by December 31, 2021.
     
  • If you are a member of the Former and Current Program Participant Payment Subclass or the Sponsor Payment Subclass, as described in FAQ 5, and timely provide the participant’s Form I-391, you are entitled to receive a Settlement payment.

    If LBN already has a record of the participant receiving a Form I-391, you will be sent a payment under this Settlement unless you opt out. However, to be certain that LBN has received the participant’s Form I-391, you may wish to follow the instructions below to resubmit the participant’s Form. Also, your check will be sent to the last address on file with LBN so if you have changed addresses or are unsure if your current address is on file, please update your address by filling out the form at www.lbnsettlement.com/contact. In the future, please fill out the form at that site if you move before receiving your check.

    If LBN does not have a record of the participant receiving a Form I-391, you must submit the Form I-391 to LBN or the Settlement Administrator with six months of the date of final approval of the settlement. Otherwise, you will not receive any payment but may still receive debt relief, discounts, payment caps, and/or non-monetary relief as discussed below.

    You can send a copy of the participant’s Form I-391 to the Claims Administrator by mail to Vasquez et al. v. Libre by Nexus Settlement, c/o JND Legal Administration, P.O. Box 91226, Seattle, WA 98111, or email to info@LBNsettlement.com.

     
  • As described in FAQ 17 and FAQ 18, the Court will hold a hearing on Dec. 9, 2020 at 2:30 p.m., to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, after that, there may be appeals. It’s always uncertain whether these appeals can be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. You can check on the progress of the case on this website. In addition, due to financial constraints as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, LBN may not be able to make the payments required until December 20, 2023.

    Further details on the timing of the payments are set forth in the Settlement Agreement, available on the Important Documents page. Please be patient.

  • The Court has ordered that the non-profit organization Centro Legal de la Raza, and the law firms of Migliaccio & Rathod LLP and Tycko & Zavareei LLP, (“Class Counsel”) will represent the interests of all Settlement Class Members. You can contact your lawyers by email at: info@classlawdc.com or by phone at 202-470-3520. You will not be separately charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

  • Class Counsel will petition the Court to receive attorneys’ fees and costs up to 25% of the $3.2 million Settlement Amount, or $800,000 (total). The Court will make the final decision as to the amount to be paid to the attorneys for their fees and costs. You will not be required to separately pay any attorneys’ fees or costs.

  • The Class Representatives will request a service award of up to $10,000 (each), or $40,000 total, for their services as class representatives and their efforts in bringing the Action. The Court will make the final decision as to the amount to be paid to the Class Representatives.

  • If the Court approves the proposed Settlement, unless you excluded yourself from the Settlement, you will be releasing your claims against LBN. This generally means that you will not be able to file a lawsuit, continue prosecuting a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against LBN regarding the allegations in the Action, as of the date of final approval of the Settlement. The Settlement Agreement, available on the Important Documents page, contains the full terms of the release.

  • The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement Class was October 26, 2020 and has passed. If you timely requested exclusion from the Settlement Class, you will be excluded from the Settlement Class, you will not be bound by the judgment entered in the Action, and you will not be precluded from prosecuting any timely, individual claim against LBN based on the conduct complained of in the Action.

  • As described in FAQ 18, the Court will hold a Fairness Hearing to determine if the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and to also consider the attorneys’ who initiated the Action’s request for an award of attorneys’ fees and costs, and a service award to the Class Representatives.

    The deadline to object to the fairness, reasonableness, or adequacy of the Settlement Agreement or the proposed Settlement, was October 26, 2020 and has passed.

    IF YOU DID NOT TIMELY MAKE YOUR OBJECTION, YOU WILL BE DEEMED TO HAVE WAIVED ALL OBJECTIONS AND WILL NOT BE ENTITLED TO SPEAK AT THE FAIRNESS HEARING.

    If you intend to appear at the Fairness Hearing through counsel, you must also identify the attorney(s) representing you who will appear at the Fairness Hearing and include the attorney(s) name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and the state bar(s) to which counsel is admitted. Also, if you intend to request the Court to allow you to call witnesses at the Fairness Hearing, such request must be made in your written brief, which must also contain a list of any such witnesses and a summary of each witness’ expected testimony.

  • Objecting is simply telling the Court that you disagree with something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Settlement Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the Settlement no longer affects you.

  • The Court has preliminarily approved the Settlement and will hold a hearing to decide whether to give final approval to the Settlement. The purpose of the Fairness Hearing will be for the Court to determine whether the Settlement should be approved as fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class; to consider the award of attorneys’ fees and expenses to the attorneys who initiated the Action; and to consider the request for a service award to the Class Representatives.

  • On December 9, 2020 at 2:30 p.m., a hearing will be held on the fairness of the proposed Settlement. At the hearing, the Court will be available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the proposed Settlement’s fairness.

    The hearing will take place before the Honorable Judge Claudia Wilken, and may be held remotely by Zoom or at the Oakland Federal Courthouse, 1301 Clay Street, Oakland, California 94612, Second Floor, Courtroom 6. The hearing may be postponed to a different date or time or location without notice. Please check this website for any updates about the Settlement generally or the Fairness Hearing specifically. If the date or time of the Fairness Hearing changes, an update to the Settlement website will be the only way you will be informed of the change.

  • At that hearing, the Court will be available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the Settlement. You may attend, but you do not have to. If you have requested exclusion from the Settlement, however, you may not speak at the Fairness Hearing.

  • Copies of the Settlement Agreement, the Court’s Preliminary Approval Order, the application for attorneys’ fees and costs, and the operative complaints filed in the Action, are available from the Important Documents page.

    Alternatively, you may contact the Settlement Administrator by email at info@LBNsettlement.com or by mail at:

    Vasquez et al. v. Libre by Nexus Settlement
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    P.O. box 91226
    Seattle, WA 98111.

    This description of this Action is general and does not cover all of the issues and proceedings that have occurred. In order to see the complete file you should visit the Important Documents of page this website or the Clerk’s office at 1301 Clay Street, Oakland, California 94612. The Clerk will tell you how to obtain the file for inspection and copying at your own expense.

  • It is your responsibility to inform the Settlement Administrator of your updated information. You can keep your address updated by filling out the form on the Contact Us page.

    You may also do so by writing to the address below:

    Vasquez et al. v. Libre by Nexus Settlement
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    P.O. Box 91226
    Seattle, WA 98111

For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

Mail

Vasquez v. Libre by Nexus
c/o JND Legal Administration
P.O. Box 91226
Seattle, WA 98111