If I was caught stealing and got a letter in the mail saying that I have 20 days to pay a $350 settlement, should I pay?

The item was less than $50 and was reclaimed by the store undamaged with tags.I am over the age of 18.

Asked on July 3, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It appears that the letter that you are writing about is from some law firm located in Florida seeking a civil recovery demand as a means of precluding a civil lawsuit against you if you pay the $350 amount.

If you were not arrested for the theft and convicted of it, you should not pay the amount. My opinion is that the letter may very well be in violation of laws concerning unfair business and debt collection practices. I suggest that you consult with an attorney who practices consumer law with respect to this letter to write a cease and desist response for you concerning all further contact.

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