A formal bill sent by an entity, usually quite a bit more powerful than yourself. The sender often has the ability of:
  1. making you pay,
  2. taking away some of your property, or
  3. putting you in jail (not as common nowadays).

This notice can come about as a result of a loan you took out, or because you're within someone's tax jurisdiction.

A notice like this has the amount you're supposed to pay, and some formal wording. For example, the verbiage on the demand notice for the vehicle excise in Brookline, MA is:

IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW, I HEREBY DEMAND OF YOU PAYMENT OF YOUR MOTOR VEHICLE AND TRAILER EXCISE.

If the billing entity is nice, they will include an envelope. However, like most bills, forget about the envelope being prepaid.

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