While I can't tell you to ignore the letter, especially not having seen it, I can tell you that these form letters are of no legal significance. If it is a legitimate debt then you may want to consider resolving it so that it doesn't negatively impact your credit. If you have a legally cognizable basis to challenge the alleged debt, then by all means do so. It is up to you how to proceed but do not feel compelled to do so because of this type of demand letter.
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This sounds like a letter sent after a shoplifting charge. I have never heard of anyone who refused to respond, actually being sued by the firm. Cant guarantee you wont be, but not likely. Get a free consult as offered by others here.
I tell clients to ignore these because I've never seen a store sue to collect. Many people hire me to write a letter saying to stop contacting my client. That ends the calls and letters.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
In order to adequately answer your question, a lawyer would need much more information, including, who is the alleged creditor, was the letter prepared by an attorney, and what is the underlying debt? If you haven't already done so, you should write a letter to the creditor disputing that you owe the debt and demanding that they send you verification of the debt (or proof that you owe the debt they are alleging that you do.) Under the FCRA, the creditor must provide you with verification of the debt within 30 days once they receive the letter. In addition, during that 30 days, the creditor may not contact you regarding the debt and all attempts to collect it must end until they verify it. Make sure you send the letter via certified mail, return receipt and keep a copy for yourself. Once you receive the verification, if it establishes that you do owe the debt, you should consider trying to negotiate the amount down and/or entering into a payment plan for it. Getting an attorney involved at that point is helpful and will usually get you a better settlement offer. Good luck!
The responses, information and materials on this Web site are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. We attempt to provide quality information, but the law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information provided is general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance. An attorney and client relationship should not be implied. Nothing on this Web site or in my response is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, therefore if you require legal advice please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.
I would not advise that you completely ignore the letter as it may draw consequences to your credit, whether you do owe a certain sum of money or you are receiving those letters in error. Without any more specifics than that which you offered, I cannot advise you further on criminal charges or prosecution therefrom. However, if this is a legitimate debt it would be in you best interest to call this attorney and perhaps come to a settlement agreement that best works for you; do not simply send that attorney a check for $500.00. A manner in which you can get this attorney to stop contacting you is through the Fair Credit Reporting Act. To find out more about this and to give you further advise and a free consultation, you may contact my office at (201) 880- 8999.
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