How to word a letter of demand

Written by kristen leonard
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Demand letters are written requests for repayment such as reimbursement of some type of deposit or repayment of a loan. Creating and serving a demand letter is often the first step in a civil lawsuit, so careful wording and etiquette should be observed to attempt to settle the matter as amicably as possible.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Gather all available information regarding the debt including the debtor's name and address, the amount of the debt, the date of the debt and any supporting documentation such as loan paperwork.

  2. 2

    Write a statement of who owes money, who is owed money and the amount owed. For example: This letter is in regards to the £325 that John Smith owes to me, Cindy Jones.

  3. 3

    Explain why money is owed. Example: Mr. Smith and I had a contract for my services as a painter. According to the contract, I was to paint Mr. Smith's house in return for the sum of £325. I completed the painting several months ago and have still not received payment.

  4. 4

    State the amount owed and give a time line for repayment. For example: Mr. Smith owes me £325, to be paid by March 1, 2010.

  5. 5

    Explain what actions will be taken if payment is not received by the deadline such as a lawsuit or complaint filed. For example: If payment is not received by 5 p.m. on March 1, 2010, I will be filing a grievance in small claims court against Mr. Smith.

  6. 6

    Sign the letter with your name and contact information including phone number, address and e-mail.

Tips and warnings

  • Many websites, including county small claims court sites, offer free fill-in-the-blank demand letters. These can be a good starting point for writing a letter of demand.
  • A letter of demand should be firm and persuasive, but never threatening or crude. Never make threats against the debtor or use swear words or name-calling in a letter of demand.

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