There are times when a collection letter is required to request payment from a customer, client, vendor or even a tenant. While this is not the most pleasant of tasks, it can be made easier when you know how to write it. When it comes time that you are forced to write a collection letter due to other failed attempts to collect a debt, the tips below will help.
Use a professional tone in your collection letter, and refrain from expressing your emotions.
1. Gather your facts. Before you start composing your letter, have all of the details in front of you. Know when the account was due, how much is due, whether there have been partial payments made, date the payment was due, etc.
2. Keep it brief. Any time you write a business letter, you want to include only the pertinent information. Write your collection letter in a brief, concise manner that gets your message across without droning on.
3. Let the recipient know that you mean business. You can let the recipient know that there is a deadline for payment, and that if the deadline is not met, they may be turned over to a collection agency, which could affect their credit standing.
4. Proofread your letter. Before you send your letter off, proofread it for spelling or grammar mistakes. Also carefully examine any account numbers, amounts due and dates to make certain your information is correct.
If you do not get a timely response after sending your first collection letter, send another. After a third attempt with no response, you may need to take further action.
Sample Collection Letter
Business Letterhead if applicable
City, State, Zip
City, State, Zip
Re: Attempt to Collect
Dear (Mrs./Mr./Miss/Ms.) followed by last name,
In your introductory paragraph, briefly summarize the reason for your collection letter.
The main body of your letter should contain all details regarding the debt you are attempting to collect. If the letter is to a tenant, explain that they owe x amount of dollars and how many days past due they are. If you are writing to a consumer who is past due on payments, give all details such as account number, due date, policy number, and the last day for payment before the recipient may be turned over to a collection agency. Also explain that this may affect their credit rating.
Your last sentence should urge the recipient to take action immediately, so they can avoid possible damage to their credit or further action. Reiterate the deadline, so that there is no mistake about when you expect payment.
Sign your name above the typed signature. Make a copy of the collection letter before you send it out. You may also want to consider sending your letter via certified mail, so that you know for certain the recipient received it.