Many will receive fines, notices, a summons in the mail. These are simply offers to do business. Do not ignore offers, a failure to respond will result in further offers coming your way, perhaps will additional costs – another offer. Under contract law you should respond to offers within 72 hours. Whilst this may not be feasible for most, you can nunc pro tunc your response back to within 72 hrs after receiving the offer, thereby remaining in honour.
Your response with be a counter-offer (unless you accept the offer), or in other words a Conditional Acceptance. This page won’t go into the details of the format of a conditional acceptance, that is for a later post (there is an example here).
Here is the net: In your Counter-offer, you must return the original offer you’ve received from the opposite party (make a copy first). Do not keep it. If it’s a bill AND you are responding on the private side then indorse the instrument on the back (it’s now setoff) and send it back with your conditional acceptance.
Keeping the original offer or follow-up offers is not good form. Any follow-up offers that ignore your counter-offer (highly likely) must be responded to. For example:
I conditionally accept your offer on proof of claim that the private administrative process with the Chief Financial Officer has not setoff, settled and closed the account making your offer moot.
It’s ok for your person to respond to these followup offers, so usually no need to run a private process on these follow-up offers.
By not responding, you are agreeing that the issue is still open and has not been resolved.