What is a demand letter?

It can be frustrating knowing someone owes you money but not having the means to recover it. You may consider taking the person to small claims court, but you might not want to go through the hassle. Is there another way you can try to recover your money before taking the other party to court? You and other Massachusetts residents may be interested in learning how to write a demand letter.

As FindLaw explains, a demand letter lets the other person know that you rightfully expect to be paid and you are serious about recovering the money. For example, you may wish to return an item of clothing that does not fit, which you bought from an online store. After repeated, failed attempts to reach customer service and get a refund, you may think your next option is to file a case with small claims court. Instead, you may first write a letter demanding payment. This letter would include the following points:

  • An explanation of the situation and the reason you believe the other party should pay
  • The amount of money owed
  • Your intent to take the issue to small claims court if you are not satisfied

The demand letter lets the other party know that you are serious in recovering your money. In many cases, this is enough to get the results you want. Rather than being accusatory and angry, your demand letter should be polite, professional and fair. Monetary disputes can be complex and frustrating, and in some cases necessitate legal counsel. Therefore, this information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.


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