The Louisiana House today approved Senate Bill 108, which absolves bail bond companies from having to refund as much as $6 million overcharged to approximately 50,000 New Orleans families after the Commissioner of Insurance found that the companies systematically overcharged people for the last 14 years. The following statement is by Micah West, senior staff attorney for the SPLC Action Fund:
“Bail bond companies across Louisiana make profits off the backs of low-income families who have to scrape together enough money to buy the freedom of their loved ones. After years of over-charging customers, the bail industry unsurprisingly does not want to pay families the millions of dollars they are owed.
“The dispute over whether bail bond companies should refund the people they overcharged is a question for the courts to decide. Unfortunately, the Legislature has intervened to absolve these profitable companies of their misdeeds. Gov. John Bel Edwards should veto this unconstitutional legislation that puts the wants of the bail bond industry over the needs of New Orleans families.”