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