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Demand Letter

Debt Details

Debt Details

What is the amount still owed?
e.g. 12,000

Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a demand letter for a debt that is not entirely owed to me?Yes, but you can only demand payment of the portion of the debt that is owed to you.

Your Demand Letter

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________ day of ________________, ________


Dear Sir/Madam,

You were to have paid the amount of $_______ USD (the "Debt") to me on July 15, 2024, and this Debt remains outstanding despite my requests for payment. The Debt relates to:


The remainder of this document will be available when you have purchased a license.

Last updated October 12, 2023

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What is a Demand Letter?

A Demand Letter serves as a final reminder to resolve an issue before the sender takes legal action against the recipient.

Sending a Demand Letter shows how serious you are about addressing a problem, as it typically sets a hard deadline and warns of the sender’s intent to sue.

A Demand Letter is also known as a:

  • Letter of demand (LOD)
  • Debt collection letter
  • Demand letter for payment

What can I use a Demand Letter for?

You can customize LawDepot’s Demand Letter template for a variety of purposes, including when:

  • Payment is due: Collect a debt that’s owed to you (e.g., you’re a landlord and your tenant fails to pay rent).
  • Action is required: Use this in various situations, such as when someone doesn’t hold up their end of an agreement (e.g., you paid for a service that wasn’t completed, or you entered a contract and the other party breached its terms).
  • Making an insurance claim: Remind an insurance company of their obligations to pay you for costs and damages after an incident (e.g., after you suffer a personal injury).

If the issue goes to court, you can use this document as evidence of the attempts to fix the problem

How do you write a formal Demand Letter?

You can use LawDepot’s Demand Letter template to write a thorough and legally enforceable document without hiring a lawyer. However, every situation is different, and you may prefer to get legal advice if you have a complicated issue.  

Our template ensures you don’t put any information into your Demand Letter that wouldn’t be needed. Simply answer a set of questions to customize your document; then download it as a PDF or print a copy.

Follow these steps to write a strong Demand Letter:

1. Explain why you’re writing the letter

State your purpose for writing the letter, whether it be for collecting a debt, demanding action, or making an insurance claim.

2. Give details about the issue at hand

If you’re demanding payment for money owed, include:

  • The outstanding amount
  • When the payment date was
  • A description of the debt (e.g., when the money was lent, the reason for the debt, and any relevant contracts)

If you’re demanding action, include specific details such as:

  • A description of the required action
  • When you want the task completed
  • Any previous contract agreed upon by the parties

If you’re making an insurance claim, include:

  • Details of the incident (e.g., when it happened, the insurance claim number, and a description of the event)
  • A description of any mental or physical injuries, if applicable
  • A description of any lost income, expenses, or damages

3. Attach evidence, if you’ve got it

Any relevant documentation helps enforce your demand.

If the recipient makes a debt validation request, federal law requires you to show proof of the debt. As such, if the recipient signed a contract, such as a Loan Agreement or Promissory Note, validate your right to repayment by attaching it to your Demand Letter.

Similarly, if making a demand for action or an insurance claim, you can support your argument by attaching relevant contracts, documents, or photos.

4. State the terms of your settlement (optional)

If you’re making an insurance claim, the settlement is the amount of money you demand from the insurance company.

If you’re collecting a debt, accepting a settlement typically means agreeing to receive less than what a debtor initially borrowed.

Sometimes, this is the best option if you know the debtor is unlikely to repay the full amount. In this case, you’ll at least recover a portion of your money.

Alternatively, you could settle for installment payments. This term allows the debtor more time to repay you.

5. Provide party details

State the names and contact information of the parties in the Demand Letter (i.e., the sender and recipient). 

How do I send a Demand Letter?

It’s best practice to send your letter on the same day it’s dated. You can ensure that your Demand Letter gets into the recipient's hands by:

  • Delivering it in person and obtaining an Affidavit of service
  • Sending it by registered mail, which offers proof of delivery
  • Hiring a lawyer to deliver it on your behalf

Service requirements vary by state and by type of case. For example, there are specific service requirements for a Demand Letter to a motor vehicle dealer in Florida. And some states require you to send a Demand Letter before filing a legal claim. In other cases, this isn’t necessary. Demand Letters are generally informal and can be served personally or by mail.

Remember that sending your Demand Letter by email or text may not satisfy the legal requirements for proof of delivery. Depending on the delivery method, this can include an Affidavit of Service, a postal receipt, or other evidence of delivery (e.g., a read receipt).

You may be able to request a read receipt through your service provider. In this case, the recipient sends you a notification when they open your message.

However, recipients may need to consent to send a read receipt. As such, email or text messaging are unreliable methods for delivering a Demand Letter

What happens when someone doesn’t respond to a Demand Letter?

Typically, a Demand Letter sets a deadline for the recipient to reply. If the deadline passes and the recipient ignores or refuses to agree to the terms in your Demand Letter, your next course of action is to file a lawsuit

If you need to go to court to resolve the issue, be sure to gather evidence to support your argument (including a copy of your Demand Letter). 

You may also want to talk to a lawyer, depending on the size of your claim. For example, if you’re suing someone for less than $10,000, you can typically represent yourself in small claims court. Keep in mind that rules for small claims courts vary by state.

How long after sending a Demand Letter can I expect a settlement?

The timeline for reaching a settlement varies greatly depending on the circumstance. 

For private matters, a Demand Letter can be the final push a person needs to repay their debt or complete a task by a specified deadline. People often accept settlement terms in a Demand Letter to avoid a costly and lengthy legal battle. Cases that end up in court can delay you from getting a settlement for months.

If you’re demanding a settlement from an insurance company, expect to wait several weeks for them to conduct an investigation and pay out a claim. Check your state’s laws to see if they enforce settlement periods for your type of claim.

Related documents

  • Cease and Desist Letter: Demand the end of an action or behavior and warn of the legal consequences if the action continues.
  • Complaint Letter: Address a problem with a product or service and request action to solve it.
  • Promissory Note: Create an enforceable acknowledgment of debt when one person is lending money to another.
  • Loan Agreement: Outline the terms of a loan between a borrower and a lender.
  • Release of Liability: Confirm that you will not proceed with legal action for current or future injuries, losses, and damages.
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Demand Letter

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