What Is a Demand Letter?
A Demand Letter is a typed or handwritten document that notifies an individual or company about a particular demand and requests to stop actions that lead to the infringement of the rights of a person or business that signed the letter. Whether you have dealt with a wrongful termination of employment, your tenant does not want to pay rent, or your customer owes you thousands of dollars, this simple document is the first step to handle the issue before you go to court and make matters worse for the breaching party.
- Letter of Demand;
- Demand Letter for Payment.
If you are looking for a Demand Letter template, see our library of forms below to find the one you need.
How to Write a Demand Letter?
Here are some tips for writing a Demand Letter to resolve a dispute:
- Identify yourself and outline the issue. You need to indicate all the facts and dates to remind the other party when and how they violated your rights. For example, a Demand Letter for robocalls should contain a list of all the dates and times when the telemarketers bothered you with their spam.
- Ask the other party to stop their unlawful actions or to pay you your money back. If you are asking for payments, do not settle - include all the losses you have actually suffered, add fines and penalties if your contract with the breaching party establishes this sanction.
- Set a deadline. If your issue is urgent, you can ask the other party to reply and preferably stop their violation within several days. For instance, if you compose a Personal Injury Demand Letter and seek a settlement for injuries you have received as a result of a car accident, you might need money at the earliest possible date – in this case, attach copies of medical documents that prove you need to resolve the problem right away. However, in most cases, you can request an answer within several weeks.
- Be polite and professional. This is especially important if you or the other party is a business - do not damage your future professional relationship in case the matter is dealt within a day or one of you made a negligent mistake that led to the misunderstanding.
- Send the letter via certified mail to get a return receipt. Make a copy of the letter before you send it. Keep all the correspondence between you and the letter recipient - it will be invaluable if you cannot resolve the matter peacefully and will have to go to court.
How to Respond to a Demand Letter?
There are different ways to approach a Demand Letter you have received:
- Admit you are in the wrong and agree to the demands in the document - usually, you need to pay the money back. Only choose this option if you have fully assessed the validity of the claims and have determined this is the best way to handle the issue;
- Deny you owe any money and explain why you think that way. If you have any documents that prove you are right, attach their copies to reject the wrongful allegations;
- Ask for more time and information. If you are not sure whether you broke any law or agreement, it is better to wait, gather evidence, and give a clear response later;
- Add your contact information and offer the other party to stay in touch. This will be a gesture of good faith and will show your urge to resolve the problem, especially if later you will have to go to court.
How Long Does a Company Have to Respond to a Demand Letter?
Do not ignore a Demand Letter – a lack of response may and will complicate the issue. Typically, when you receive a Demand Letter you should respond within a few weeks. Obviously, it cannot be true for every situation, so if you need more time to prepare your answer, you should write to the other party and ask them to wait a bit longer while you compile paperwork and evidence to build a stronger case.
How Much Does a Demand Letter Cost?
If you choose to reach out to a professional lawyer who specializes in the drafting of legal documents and request a legal Demand Letter, you will be charged a certain sum of money. Its amount will depend on the size and reputation of the attorney or firm you have approached and on its legal status – a solo practitioner, a partnership, and a high-end firm will charge different payments for their services. A Demand Letter usually costs between $750 and $5,000 – its cost varies affected by the amount of time and effort the lawyer will take to compose a document.
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You may use this letter as a formal document sent by one party of an agreement to another party, to notify them about the violation of the terms of their contract.
This statement may be sent by an individual who has suffered a physical injury to an organization or person responsible for this harm with a request for financial compensation.