Civil demand letter came in..should i pay?

Asked over 2 years ago - Fresno, CA

I finally recieved "civil demand" letter. They are asking i pay $415.98. If i fail to pay within 25 days they may take all legal steps in order to recieve the full amount, and by they i mean something called "sears holdings inc." It also says that paying does prevent criminal prosecution..im not really sure what this means. Im really confused since this is the first time ive been going through this. Should i really ignore this letter?? Ohh and just to add no police were called, if that matters.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20

    21

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . No. A civil demand is not a debt and you would only have to pay it if they successfully sued you. The likelihood of that happening is extremely small.

    Paying or not paying the civil demand will have no effect on any criminal actions which might be brought against you.

    Learn from this mistake, and don't shoplift anymore.

    Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in... more
  2. Michael Charles Doland

    Contributor Level 20

    16

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A civil demand letter creates no indepedent obligation to pay.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may... more
  3. Slavik Steve Leydiker

    Contributor Level 15

    13

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Attorneys Chen and Doland provided you with excellent advice. Do not pay the civil demand because it has no legal force whatsoever. If you didn't sign anything, you don't owe anything. Any threat to prosecute is nothing more an idle threat. You're lucky you didn't get arrested. Lesson learned I guess.

    My comments are provided for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents,... more
  4. Seyed Abbas Kazerounian

    Contributor Level 15

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Though more facts may be needed, you should seek advise from a consumer attorney. Keep the letter and the envelope that it came in as the phraseology of the latter MAY have RFDCPA violations and it is possible that you may actually have a case. When trying to collect a debt, creditors have to be cautious in the language that they use. However, whether you have a case or not cannot be established without having all the facts and/or seeing the letter that you mention.

    The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal... more

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