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Debt Collection Demand Letters

A demand letter is a formal letter that one party would write demanding that another party perform a certain action — usually to pay up.

If a demand letter is being written by a debt collection agency, there are certain laws that the collection agency has to adhere to when writing a person about a debt.

If a person anticipates that their current dispute might well end up in court, a demand letter is the first step in either resolving the issue, or in establishing the facts upon which a court case may later be based. The recipient of the demand letter can either ignore the letter, attempt to negotiate a resolution once they receive the demand letter, or reply to the letter and state either their agreement or disagreement with the demands being made. Either way, it can be said that “if it is not written down it did not happen” and in the case of a demand letter, it should be a letter that completely states the facts. The more dates contained in a demand letter the better. If there are any witnesses to the particular issue at hand, these witnesses can be named, fortifying the claims made in the demand letter.

In considering what to include in a demand letter, one may well consider this format: “Who, What, Why, How and When”.

If there are any other written documents that would back up your specific claims, you may want to make a copy of such documents and attach them to your demand letter.

It is a good idea to spellcheck and have another party read over your letter to be sure that it addresses each issue and reads accurately. It may well eventually be part of a law suit, so you want to be sure that it says exactly what you want it to say, and includes all the facts.

If you believe that there is going to be a problem settling the issue, and you are pretty sure the matter will go to court, you may want to send the demand letter both regular mail and certified mail, return-receipt requested. If the other party signs for the certified-mail it will help you in court when the judge sees that you wrote a demand letter and did not receive the satisfaction you were seeking. Thus — the judge will have to rule as a compromise could not be reached.

Following this format, we have Who, What, Where, How and When.

Dear John Williamson:

On April 17, 2010 you signed a promissory note for $1000.00 at Chuck's Checks-Into-Cash. You agreed to come back within 90 days and repay the $1000 plus $400 interest. We have not seen nor heard from you and we have attempted on July 3, 2010, July 10, 2010, July 17, 2010 to contact you by phone and have sent multiple letters dated August 8, 2010, August 16, 2010 and August 23, 2010 to your last known address.

We need you to contact this office immediately and repay this debt so that we do not have to subpoena you to appear in court. If we have to do that, you will owe more than then original debt as court costs and lawyer's fees will be added.

Sincerely,

Chuck Cheese
Owner
Chuck's Checks-Into-Cash