But how exactly should you write this important document? This article explains just that. We’ll also discuss the most common mistakes people make when writing a demand letter and how to avoid them.
Before we dive into the common mistakes made when crafting a demand letter, let’s discuss why there should be no room for errors when writing this document. A demand letter is a big step towards resolving financial issues with a business or individual. But this isn’t the only reason why it’s important:
Demand letters are written by people who wish to use a legal avenue to get what belongs to them, but they may not have much experience writing formal documents. That’s why making mistakes comes as no surprise. Here’s what many people get wrong when composing their demand letter:
The primary purpose of a demand letter is to seek payment. You want to present the issue clearly so whoever reads the letter can understand what it’s about. Be specific about the amount someone needs to pay you and request they take action. If they owe you $3,000, state the amount clearly and explain how you got to it.
When requesting an action from the letter receiver, it’s essential to add the deadline. Otherwise, there is no sense of urgency, and the letter can easily be misinterpreted as not important. The receiver needs to be aware that what they owe should be returned as soon as possible. If not, it should be clear to them that you’re ready to take legal action.
Writing in an angry tone or personally attacking the other party is the worst thing you can do in a demand letter. If you let your emotions speak, you’ll only invite the receiver to respond in the same tone. Exchanging hard feelings only reduces the chances of solving the issue.
Other than being polite and clearly stating the letter’s purpose, you also want to review the main facts. Make sure to do so in the exact order as the events happened. This way, there is a logical connection between the facts, and the letter is easier to follow.
Ideally, a demand letter will be enough to get you the payment someone owes you. But if the person or the business doesn’t respond or agree to settle the issue right away, they need to be aware of the consequences. It should be clear that you’re not afraid to pursue legal action to get your repayment. That’s why it’s crucial to end the letter by stating you’ll pursue legal remedies if they don’t meet the demand.
This is a common mistake among many businesses seeking payment from their clients. Unless there is a contract for every project that clearly states all the payment details, some parts of the payment dispute may be baseless to the law. For this reason, it’s essential to have a legal basis for every action you take against a party.
This one is a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised to know how many times people make this mistake. While in a rush to print out a demand letter and send it ASAP, take a moment to make a copy and keep it for your record. You’ll need a copy if future legal action is required, or the recipient tries to deny receiving the letter.
Also, you want to send the original letter via certified mail with a return receipt requested. Keep the tracking and delivery confirmation if the recipient doesn’t want to sign the receipt.
A properly written demand letter can help you get your money back without filing a suit against someone. Avoid the common mistakes above and present all facts clearly to have higher chances of settling your issue and eliminating the need for legal action. And if you’re uncertain about writing a demand letter that stands out, you can always ask a lawyer for help.
At LegalHood we aim to make legal services affordable so you can save money. When it comes to demand letters, we offer many packages that allow you to have your demand letter reviewed by one of our lawyers, and have it sent by registered mail or by certified email. Not everyone is familiar nor comfortable with this procedure, so take advantage of the support that a legal professional can give by going on our demand letters service page.