Looking to send a demand letter and need an example? We’ll show you how in this post and give you a sample.
First, some basics: A demand letter is, in essence, a final notice you send to someone requesting something. That something is usually money owed, but it can also be a request to take action or refrain from taking action. For example, demand letters can be sent to request a repayment of a loan, pay an unpaid invoice, request property back, or tell a neighbor to stop harassing you.
Demand letters can address many issues and are tailored to a particular situation. However, there are some common elements in a demand letter for payment.
In this post, we’ll present an example of a demand letter with some key features you should be mindful of. We’ll also point out a critical reason why you may not want to send a demand letter on your own.
We’ll also show you what a lawyer demand letter looks like and why they are generally much better at getting your desired outcome.
General Form of a Demand Letter
A demand letter for payment sent by a non-attorney can look something like the following:
Tips for Writing an Effective Demand Letter
There are a few general tips to keep in mind when sending a demand letter:
1. Briefly explain why the money is owed.
The trick here is to stick with the basic facts. Refrain from the urge to let the recipient know how you feel or how unfair they are. Imagine that one day the letter may be read in court and consider whether you want a judge reading what you wrote.
You are understandably upset, but it’s important not to let those emotions overflow into your demand letter.DemandLetters.com
Many people, when writing their own demand letter, also tend to include too many details. Just a few sentences covering the basics is enough. You want to keep your demand letter short and to the point.
Including too many details can cloud the overall message and also open up a contentious debate on trivial matters. You can refer to specific dates, any agreements that were made, and any specific events that are pertinent.
2. Be clear about what you are demanding.
If you are asking for money, be clear about the exact amount you are asking for. If you would be happy settling for a lesser amount, you can mention that. You may also be willing to compromise in other ways, such as allowing the recipient to pay in installments.
You may also feel entitled to what you are owed, plus interest and other expenses you have incurred.
A major fault with some demand letters is that they are murky about what exactly the recipient needs to do. Be crystal clear about your expectations and what it will take for you to put the matter to rest.
3. Set a deadline and instructions on how the recipient should pay.
Set a date for when the recipient should pay you by. You should also include the method by which they should pay you. For example, you may not trust a check, so you could demand your payment in cash, cashier’s check, or via a transfer through Venmo, Paypal, or Cash App.
4. Set repercussions for failure to pay.
Let the recipient know the consequences if they don’t pay. For example, you might state that you may pursue legal action in court or seek the assistance of an attorney.
You might also state you will refer the matter to a collection agency. No matter what you say, be sure to be respectful, courteous, and reasonable. This brings us to the next tip…
5. Maintain a professional tone.
Resist the urge to let your frustration or anger boil over into the letter. You should maintain a factual, professional tone at all times. Never threaten the recipient or lay out consequences you would never actually pursue.
A letter that threatens or harasses the recipient with harmful consequences could even be considered extortion, which could get you into serious trouble. Remember, imagine that a court and judge may one day read the letter.
You want to present yourself as a reasonable person who tried to resolve things peacefully. Demonstrate that you were polite but firm throughout the ordeal and maintained professionalism and a respectful tone.
6. Use certified mail to send the letter.
It is fine to email a demand letter, but if you are mailing a physical copy, make sure to use certified mail, so you have a clear record of when exactly the letter was sent and delivered.
Why You Should NOT Send Your Own Demand Letter
Sending a demand letter yourself is perfectly fine, but it’s often a losing proposition. Why? Because if you have reached the point of sending a demand letter, it’s likely the recipient has ignored your many calls, emails, and texts.
If that’s the case, what are the chances they will respond to yet another communication from you? Not only that, most individuals are not as qualified as a lawyer in writing a demand letter.
Lawyers write demand letters for a living – they know how to convey the right tone and can set you up for success later on.
Here is an example of a demand letter from an attorney:
The Benefits of a Lawyer Demand Letter
Compare the example of the lawyer letter above with the do-it-yourself option. If you were receiving these letters, which one would compel you to take action?
Having a lawyer send your demand letter conveys the gravity of the situation. It shows you are taking the matter seriously and are ready to take legal action.DemandLetters.com
A lawyer is capable of writing a letter that is strong, convincing, and effective. If someone was avoiding your attempts at collecting money before, they will not be able to easily ignore a letter from an attorney.
The drawback, of course, of using a lawyer is that it is significantly more expensive than sending a letter yourself. There’s also the hassle and difficulty of finding and hiring a lawyer to do the job.
Fortunately, there’s now DemandLetters.com.
How to Find a Lawyer to Send a Demand Letter Inexpensively
Demand Letters will connect you with a lawyer who will send an effective demand letter to someone for a low flat fee. Everything is done remotely, so there is no need for office visits. A lawyer will send a professionally drafted letter on your behalf to the person causing so much stress in your life.
The lawyers that work with us can also help with much more than demand letters for payment. They are also experienced in sending cease and desist letters to stop harassment, for example.
Stop trying to tackle the problem on your own and get professional help for one low, all-inclusive flat rate with no hidden fees or ongoing obligations. Just click on the link below and get started today.