Writing a successful demand letter takes more than just making the demand. Here are all of the necessary elements needed to construct a professional demand letter that is certain to get favorable results.
There are many types of demand letters written in the law profession, but the most common type of demand letter is a collection letter, which outlines the basis for a debt due to a client and a demand that it be paid. Other demand letters , however, demand that certain action be taken such as a demand that a landlord repair a leaking roof.
Every demand letter should contain the following elements:
Introduction of your firm
Identify your firm and specify your role.
Recitation of facts
You must include the facts upon which the client’s claim is based. Because your aim is to motivate the reader to pay your client or take some action, phrase the factual statement as persuasively as possible.
Set forth as clearly as possible your client’s demand. If this is a collection letter, specify the exact amount due. If you are demanding that the reader take some specific action, say so. If there are several components to your demand, you may wish to set them forth in a list.
Consequence of non-compliance
Because your aim in a demand letter is to persuade the reader to pay your client or take some action, you should include a statement telling the reader of the consequence of not complying with the demand letter. These consequences may include the institution of litigation, the cessation of work on a project, or some other adverse action. While most readers will be offended by heavy-handed threats, there is nothing wrong in clearly and concisely explaining to a reader what will occur if the client’s demands aren’t met.
Date of compliance
You must set forth in explicit terms the deadline for compliance. Set forth an express date so the reader will know exactly when compliance is expected.
Include all of these elements in any type of demand letter. Make sure all of your facts and figures are accurate. Nothing is more discrediting than inaccuracy. The result will be a professionally crafted letter that will get the attention it deserves, and a favorable outcome for your client.