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Do I need to pay restitution to the law offices of Michael Ira Asen, or is this a scam?

Erie, PA |

I was arrested for a non-traffic citation for shoplifting at a Walmart in Pennsylvania about 9 months ago. I went to court and paid my fine. When this incident happened, this "law office" told me over the phone to "not contact them, they will contact me". It just seemed a little fishy. Now, 9 months later, I've received a "THIRD NOTICE!" letter asking for $150. First of all, this is the FIRST letter I've received. They claimed that 2 letters were "sent back." Should I wait until they threaten to sue me, should I not pay? What should I do?

Attorney Answers 2

  1. Best answer

    I generally advise clients to ignore these civil demand letters. You don't owe them anything. In order for you to owe them something they would have to sue you, (in some jurisdictions prove damages which they most likely couldn't do), and win. Even if they could win, the cost of pursuing this is substantially greater than any amount they can possibly recover so they usually don't. They send out these letters because it doesn't cost much and they are hoping that you don't know better and simply send them the money. Nothing will happen to you if you don't pay it. Take a look at an article in the Wall Street Journal at the link provided below. 

  2. Wait until they actually sue you... Chances are it won't happen.

    Call the local MDJ (where you sent your fine for the summary violation) and ask... Has Walmart ever sued anyone there.. You will likely find that they have not. It isn't worth the money to hire a real lawyer to actually sue...

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