If I received a $300 settlement offer from a law firm for shoplifting incident, can it be lowered?

When exiting a store, I was asked to return the item to security. I was brought to the back office where police were not called and no ticket issued. I was told I was to receive a settlement offer at a later time for no more than the item’s cost times 4. The item was roughly around $12 but the settlement offer I received was a bit steep. I have clean record, no court date was given, no arrest made, I am paying myself through college, and on low income. The fee they’re requesting is one I can’t afford at this time.

Asked on July 19, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the demand for payment is from a Florida law firm I would not pay the $300.00 for the simple reason that you were not arrested nor convicted of any crime of shop lifting. The claim against you is for some alleged civil recovery under Florida law with respect to a shoplifting issue.

This presumed Florida law firm will continue to hound you. I would write a "cease and desist" letter while keeping a copy claiming that the demand is in violation of your state's unfair debt collection and unfair business practice statutes.

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