A demand letter is a letter usually sent by an attorney that asks the recipient to comply with their client’s requests. A successful demand letter can resolve a dispute right away, whether that means the recipient paying money owed or taking some other action to settle the matter.
You don’t actually need a legal license to write a demand letter, but they are more effective when sent by an attorney. That’s because a demand letter from an attorney conveys that you have escalated the matter to a more critical point. Attorneys also understand how to write demand letters and avoid language that can hurt you in the long run.
If you need to send someone a demand letter, DemandLetters.com can help you. DemandLetters.com is the most affordable and convenient way to send a demand letter to someone through a lawyer. The letter will demand that the recipient comply with your requests or face consequences. Your demand letter will be signed by the lawyer and be printed on their letterhead.
Here are five tips for writing a demand letter—and three things to absolutely avoid.
Tips for Writing a Demand Letter
- Be Factual and Precise
It is important to paint a complete, but not overly wordy, picture of the story in the demand letter.
Start with your story from the beginning: who is involved, what date the situation began, and where it took place? Provide descriptions of any meaningful or important dates, numbers, or sums of money involved in the situation. Make sure that you also describe any unfair or deceptive practices, including dates and details.
Include information about the injury you incurred in quantitative terms: this might include, for example, unpaid loans, unreturned deposits, unpaid rent, medical bills, loss of income, or cost to replace an item that was damaged or lost.
Clearly request your desired relief. Simply requesting that the other party rectify the situation is insufficient. State your relief in terms of an item (e.g. a written apology or a new phone) or in terms of a sum of money. Depending on the situation, you may want to describe specific difficulties you faced instead of stating the ambiguous “pain and suffering.”
Finally, include information about when and how the other party must respond. Your recipient must be given the opportunity to respond to your demand letter, so include information that provides a clear deadline and method for making things right with you.
- Get to the Point and be Concise
There is no minimum or maximum length for a demand letter. However, a demand letter aims to describe the situation, harm caused, and relief requested clearly and concisely. So, your demand letter should be only as long as it absolutely must be to impart necessary or key information to the other party.
Non-professionals may include too many irrelevant details and imbuing the letter with their feelings on the matter. Understandably, you might have a lot to get off your mind, but extraneous details will not help your matter and may actually make the recipient tune out and become distracted from the real matter at stake.
Most demand letters are very short (1-2 pages) and get right to the point—short and sweet with only the relevant details that can be understood clearly and quickly by the recipient is the way to go.
- Be Reasonable
The best demand letter is one that doesn’t insult the other party but appeals to their reason. Accordingly, consider your demand letter to be an opportunity for the other party to be politely but firmly informed that they have unjustifiably hurt you and provide them an opportunity to make the situation right.
When requesting your desired relief, it is important to be reasonable about the damages you want. Providing reasonable demands will also make it more likely that the other party will feel inclined to settle with you.
Again, avoid the inclination to make harsh accusations and pass judgment. You want to remain business-like and professional throughout. If you make threats, state things that stretch the truth, or say anything that puts you in a bad light, it can hurt you later. You should consider that other parties, including a court, may read what you had to say in your demand letter.
- Write with Your Goal in Mind
When writing your demand letter, keep your main goal in mind. Before you start, outline what you want to articulate in your letter and why. Is your goal to be compensated for damages you incurred? Is it to receive an apology? Is there an amount you would be willing to settle at?
Writing with a goal in mind will help you stay on track and organized when writing your demand letter. It can also help you be clear and concise in your writing. Non-professionals can tend to meander in their letter and be unclear about what they are asking for.
Also, avoid asking for significantly more than what you would actually reasonably settle for. That may just further alienate the other side and put a bigger wedge between the parties. The recipient may think a settlement is not possible when, in reality, there may be a reasonable compromise that you could accept.
- Use an Attorney if You Can
You might be reluctant to use an attorney because they’re expensive and hard to find. You may have a good point there—it can be a daunting process to find a good attorney, and legal fees and retainers can sometimes cost a pretty penny.
Attorneys write the best demand letters because they are experienced professionals.DemandLetters.com
You can also imagine how different the recipient’s reaction will be getting a letter from an attorney versus getting one that you wrote yourself.
With DemandLetters.com, you don’t have to compromise. An attorney will send a demand letter on your behalf for a low flat fee with no hourly fees, retainers, or ongoing obligations. Best of all, everything is done remotely, and you don’t have to schedule any in-person visits.
Start at the link below and work towards getting real results today.
What to Avoid in a Demand Letter
- Involving Your Emotions
When writing a demand letter, you should aim to be objective and professional. Leave personal feelings out of the letter altogether. Avoid using abusive and threatening language and never disparage the other party.
Not only will this kind of language make the other party less likely to cooperate, but a letter with disparaging or unprofessional language can actually damage your case later on. If you can, have a neutral party review the letter to ensure that your tone remains professional throughout and the descriptions you provide are objective.
An attorney knows how to convey the appropriate tone and what to say and not say. They’ll know how to pick out the details that matter and leave emotions off the table. Their concern is with getting you results.
- Not Using a Traceable Method
When sending a demand letter, you want to have proof the recipient actually received it. Demand letters can be sent by email or regular mail. If you send the letter by regular mail, you should use a trackable method like certified mail. It’s worth the additional expense of using a traceable method, so you have proof that the recipient received your letter if they try to claim they never heard from you and try to plead ignorance later.
- Sending the Letter Yourself to Avoid the Expense
Sending an ineffective demand letter may just prolong the dispute and cause the other side to continue ignoring your requests. A demand letter you send on your own can appear as an indicator that you are not really prepared to take serious action other than pestering them with calls, texts, emails, and letters.
You might be hesitant to use a lawyer because you don’t know how to find one, and you’re concerned about cost. But using an attorney to send your demand letter will pack a far bigger punch.
With DemandLetters.com there is no longer an excuse. After completing our simple questionnaire online, an attorney will work on a demand letter for you and send it to the person or company you have a problem with—all for a low flat price without any hourly bills that spiral out of control. Get started today by completing the information below.