i was caught shoplifting from k mart on the second of January. The total amount was 6 dollars and i received the first civil demand letter that asked for about 300. i found the amount they wanted to be extremely high for the amount i had stolen. If it would have been around 150 dollars i would have payed, but i cant afford to pay more so, I ignored the first recovery letter. Now, I received another letter and its dated to January,29 and now they are asking for 475 and that i had to pay it within 10 days. Clearly the 10 days already pass, so should i just ignore it, or should i call the company and try to explain that i just received the letter. what happens if i don't pay it? If i keep on ignoring the letters how long would it take from them to stop sending them?
Criminal Defense Attorney
Often times I tell clients to ignore the civil demand letters because they are not due until they are awarded a civil judgment. The stores rarely do that.
This is not intended as individual legal advice and there is no attorney client relationship established by this answer. It is advisable that you seek individualized legal assistance. This is not a substitute for hiring an attorney.
DUI / DWI Attorney
Don't worry about those letters. Whether or not you pay the civil penalty has not effect whatsoever on the status of a criminal case. If you never pay them, they have the right to file a civil lawsuit against you, but I have never seen that happen. You can call and work out a payment plan with them if it makes you feel better, but I would just ignore them.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
As a rule, I advise clients to ignore these civil demand letters. Unless you signed some agreement to pay this store, you owe them nothing. In order for you to owe them something they would have to sue you and win. However, It would cost them much more to sue you than they can ever hope to recover so they usually don’t pursue it.
With that in mind, I would advise that they can still take legal action against you by filing suit in small claims court. If you ignore these actions, a default judgment will be entered against you. So, although you can ignore the civil demand letter, do not ignore anything that comes from a court.
Legal disclaimer: The answer provided is general in nature and because not all facts are known, it should not be construed as legal advice. The answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. You should speak to an attorney for further information.
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