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Got a demand letter from a lawyer

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I need some advise here guys. I recently got a demand letter from a lawyer saying that I owe a company in Hong Kong $45,000. If I don't pay up, they will take legal action against me. This is a company I used to source out electronic recycling parts over here in the US for them. They have paid me about $41,000 to source out the parts and ship it to them. there was NO written contract. Apparently the deal went sour since the source that I am getting the parts from sold majority of defective parts. At the time The company in hong kong still owe me about 19k as profit because the 41k was just for parts. I am stuck with 41k of useless parts that the company doesn't want and i can't get my money back because i can't get a hold of the company that sold me the parts.

the only problem here is that majority of the parts should be good but it is not. They have threaten me several times about taking me to court and filed FBI fraud on me and now I got a demand letter from a lawyer.. I did end up paying about $4000 back several months ago, but they now want the rest of the money.

What should I do? Ignored the letter or contact their lawyer and ask for a proof of a contract?


keep in mind here is that it is a company in Hong Kong hiring a lawyer here in the US.

I heard cases like this won't get far because there no written contract or I signed anything, everything was through email.
is this a unlimited civil case and how long would it takes and cost?  



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Yeah, I agree with kutuzov. The story is a bit confusing regarding the sequence of events.


  • A Company in Hong Kong pays you to "source out parts". I'm assuming they ship these parts to you, and then you ship the parts to clients here in the United States.
  • For the parts that you ship/outsource to U.S. clients, you are paid for distribution of these items from them. You've made roughly $41,000 for doing this thus far.
  • According to your book keeping, they owe you roughly $19,000 for previous distribution
  • Due to the defective nature of the parts no one here in the United States wants to purchase them. They're defective.
  • During these transactions, a second company in Hong Kong has been fronting the money for the purchase of the parts between you and the Chinese supplier.
  • Since you can't sell the defective parts, you're unable to recoup the costs involved in this transaction.
  • Now the Hong Kong company wants their money and they're knocking at your door.

This is where it becomes unclear. From what you stated, it sounds as if you are dealing with two different entities: Your Chinese parts supplier and a company in Hong Kong that gives you the money to purchase parts from the Chinese Supplier.


If we are indeed talking about that type of a situation, it would seem that you've got a problem.


It would be like this: 


You buy a new Lexus and finance it through Wells Fargo.  While your car is parked on the side of the street, the ACME steamroller company is paving and accidentally runs over the Lexus, flattening it into an something resembling a stack of pancakes from iHop.


The first of the month rolls around, and you call Wells Fargo and says, "Listen, I don't want to pay for this Lexus, it's 2 inches tall now. The ACME company's steamroller ran over it".


Wells Fargo would say "That's not our problem, you still owe use $45,000.  If they ran over your car, you need to take that up with ACME and get them to paid for its replacement".



To apply to your scenario:  The Hong Kong company wants the money they lent you to purchase the parts.  They don't care about the fact that they're defective. In fact, they don't even know what these parts are, exactly.  All they know is that you have been loaned $45k and they want it.   This almost seems like an independent issue from the Parts manufacture; They owe you $19,000 and they shipped you $41,000 in defective merchandise.  I'm not certain if you can directly link one to the other.

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I am sorry if I didn't explain it very well. My English is not that good.

1. there is only 1 Hong Kong company I am dealing with over there. they gave me $41k to source out the parts and buy it in the US. they would pay me the rest of the 19K once I shipped the parts to them. Kind in mind that the total cost for all of these to buy was around 50k, and 10k of it would be my profit once I ship it to them in hong kong. I ended up having to put another 9k in of my own money to buy the part(50k total).  Also keep in mind that I have done this for them before but in small quantities from $4000-$5000 and not that large of an amount like this. no written contract either.


2. the parts I bought from is from a small business in the US. I can't get a hold of them nor able to contact them anymore. they seem to disconnect their number and moved. The parts was guarantee 80+ percent good. Turned out it was only 10 percent or less good. keep in mind these are different kind of phone screens for recycling(they have cracked glass but good LCD). turned out only 10 percent of the LCD are good.

3. No contract was written between the Hong Kong company and I. Everything was communicated through email. I tried to tell them that I have the parts, but it was only 10 percent good and the rest was bad. I also told them, I can't get a hold of the small business that I bought it from to return or even get my money back. 

4. the Hong Kong company demand that I paid them back the full $41K(which I don't have anymore). I end up sending them back $4,000 of my own money because at the time I was scared from all the thread of filling fraud to the FBI and etc. I don't have much money and pretty much spend some of my money too.

5. I decided to ignored the thread because there nothing else I could do but stress out and getting threat from them.

6. a month later I got a demand letter from a lawyer saying that I did a fraud on them and said that everything I said wasn't true. They demand a full payment of $37k(41k-4k I already paid back) or else they will take all legal actions on me and will probably cause more excessive amount then the original amount.(seem a lot like a threat).


My question is:

1. what court will this go to if they do decide to serve me in court? 

2. what will happen if I ignore the letter?

3. How long will it take to get this to court and what is their chance of winning since they are a company over in Hong Kong?


4. this is probably going to cost a lot for the procedure of court and lawyer right?

4. I am pretty much broke right now and don't have any money for a lawyer nor even to pay them if I wanted to. so what is the best advise here?


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1.I paid by cash and all of these was by verbal agreement.
2. the only way I can prove is still having the parts in my possession
3. the parts was due 4 months ago.

- How did you pay the company in the US for the defective parts?

- Can you prove you did so?

- How long ago were the parts due to the company in Hong Kong?

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You would have to file a suit for Quantum meruit, since there is no written contract,,,the emails can be used as evidence.


You could claim breach of contract and quantum meruit for the amount in question.......A verbal contract can hold up in court if you prove what was discussed, those emails can do that, hope you kept them.


Quantum meruit means ,,for as much as he deserves....Quantum meruit determines the amount to be paid for services when no contract exists or when there is doubt as to the amount due for the work performed but done under circumstances when payment could be expected.


I would also ask for punitive damages for sending you defective parts.

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Total scam.

Did they put you in contact with the shop that had the parts?  If so, they were probably laundering money, and the little deals were to bait you, then the big whamo on the large debt.  They are trying to scare you saying you are the one who committed the fraud.  I would defiantly file a police report, send a copy of it to the bag attorney, and refuse to pay, send him a cease and desist.  If he does file against you in court, you said yourself there was no contract.  Try and prove you owe it.  Even if they have a copy of the check they gave you, if there was no promise to pay, no contract, to bad so sad for them.

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Dv him first, so he can't use account stated for sure:



Dear Sirs:


I'm in receipt of your last letter dated xx, attached. I herby notify you that I dispute the validity of these alleged debt, and demand debt validation. Also please provide name and address of original creditor if different from current creditor, and a copy of any judgment if it exist.


Sincerely yours





Do photocopy of the letter the attorney send you, and send it via certified mail return receipt. If you don't know what that is just go to the post office and tell them you want to send it that way, ask for the green card not the online crap.

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