A demand for payment letter quite often has the desired effect
after numerous phone calls asking for payment may have failed.
It is easy for a defendant to ignore a phone call or to claim being unaware of your letter of demand. It is therefore good practice to make copies of your demand letter and to send it by registered mail (with delivery confirmation) to the recipient.
There are additional reasons for getting it all in writing:
Important Note: Before you click through to our demand letter samples, take a look at the following five paragraphs which should be covered in your demand for payment letter.
You do not need a lawyer to write your letter - you simply state that you are acting in your own capacity.
However, if you do act on behalf of someone else or on behalf of a company, you need to disclose that e.g. "I act as accountant on behalf of Company XYZ".
Or if you aquired the services of a legal professional to draft the letter, this too must be made known to the other party. The demand letter would then typically start with: "We act for Mr M Jones. Our client informs us that ..."
Here you need to outline the cause of action i.e. the reason for your claim against the opposing party. Supply clear but concise details of how or why the claim arose, e.g.
Reference and attach copies of any affidavits or invoices that can support your statement and enclose copies thereof with your letter. Make notes of any further discussions with the defendant or any reaction which may be threatening or inappropriate.
You need to outline exactly what reaction/restitution you expect from your letter of demand e.g.
You need to specify the timeline within which the opposing party must affect payment of your claim. You could give a number of working days (typically a 10 day demand letter) but if you specify the day and date there is no chance of confusion.
In the final paragraph of your demand for payment letter you must outline the consequences of the opposing party's failure to affect payment of your claim within the previously prescribed timeline.
You want the defendant to understand that you will not go away and he/she needs to understand the risk of losing in court, the time it will take to defend, the matter being of public record and possibly affecting his/her credit rating.
Note: In Full and Final Settlement
This is typically added to the demand for payment and serves as assurance to the defendant once paid in full, that no further demands for payment will be madeby the claimant relating to this specific claim.
For example, in an automotive accident the claimant may not come back at a later date and claim for other damages that he/she was not aware of at the time of the demand.
If you intend pursuing the matter in Small Claims Court or Disputes Tribunal, you need to confirm your claim is below the maximum limit. Many courts offer (and encourage or even demand) a mediation service prior to pursuing the matter in court.
USA - State specific (2.5k - 25k but no limit in eviction cases in some states) Some jurisdictions also allow tenants to claim double the security deposit (even if over the limit) where the landlord failed to return the deposit.
England and Wales (Generally 10k)
Scotland and Northern Ireland (3k)
Canada (8k - 50k)
South Africa (15k)
Australia (5k - 25k)
New Zealand Disputes Tribunal (15k - 20k)
You also need to show that you attempted to settle with a defendant before taking your case to court i.e. wrote him/her a demand for payment letter and gave adequate time to respond.
Since your demand for payment letter (and other supporting documents) will be submitted as evidence to the judge, you need to have your letter typed and be mindful of your tone and language.