Search Writing a Demand Letter That Gets Results A well-written demand letter works in as many as one-third of all cases, probably because, in legal contexts, the written word is far more powerful than speech.
We like the day demand letter. Dealing with legal issues can sometimes seem like a never-ending chess match. You move, they move, you move, they move, etc.
By adding to your demand letter an explicit deadline, you limit the number of days that you might have to otherwise wait and wonder what, if anything, they will do next; and more importantly, you set an explicit next-action date for yourself. Also, let's suppose that next step you have decided is to sue the person or company who fails to resolve your demand by that deadline.
Some states actually require that you send a day demand letter before you are able to sue over certain types of issues. And even though this is not true in every state, by defaulting in all cases to the day demand letter, you will avoid having to do as much jurisdiction-specific research before you begin.
For example, the research matrix you might have to navigate might include state specifics, issue type specifics, industry specifics, dollar amount specifics, and more; this could get pretty labyrinthine pretty fast. And trust me, we have been there before and know that when you encounter an issue that upsets you enough to want to get up and do something about it, you would prefer to ride that wave of emotion right away than delay a week or two to allow time for sufficient Google-fu.
What to include in your demand letter? In our experience, you fundamentally have two options. Option 1 is to include only the basics which we will list for you in a minute. Option 2 is to start with the basics and then to add an additional layer of personalization that you deem important and we will also give you an example of when adding personalization might be appropriate.
The Basics The basics to include: Your address email address is also an option here so long as you have established email as a valid form of communication with the recipient of this letter. Account number if your relationship with the recipient is not adequately cited by only including your name and address.
The description of your complaint include dates and other important facts like prior attempts you might have made to resolve this issue; make clear the harm you believe that you suffered What you are demanding could be a specific amount of money or some particular action.
Optional but often helpful to include: In some cases, like those involving contract disputes between a residential landlord and a tenant, there might not be an account number, so instead, you might wish to include the date on which the contract in question was executed.
Deadlines until which you will give the recipient to resolve your demands for example: A statement of how you sent the demand letter and reference to any proof you have that it was sent certified mail tracking number, for example.
Reference to any specific laws you believe the recipient violated to give rise to this issue. For example, one Veeto member is a marine, and as such, added to his demand letter a statement about his character that he thought was relevant to the conversation: I am a US Marine, a tenant who pays his rent on time, and a generally reasonable human being.
Another example of option 2 flair is how this Veeto member told the story of how she had already attempted to resolve this issue: Yes, we encountered these issues after we moved into your property. And no, they were not fun to deal with. But we endured, and I did what I could to be both communicative and reasonable.
An attorney might deem this part superfluous or fluff; and frankly, I do not disagree.
But the reason I think it works in this letter is because the author's goal is not necessarily to end up court. She just wants to resolve these issues as quickly and easily as possible.
So by including this cushion, "I am not trying to be a jerk," she is attempting to deescalate any reactive combativeness the recipient might be feeling after reading the first few paragraphs of this demand letter. The thing I really like about this last example is that I think legal disputes need less fear and more humanity--and by humanity, I simply mean more human being behaving like human beings.
As a human being, I probably would not walk up to someone and spout off only "the basics" if I were trying to bring an issue to his attention. No, instead, I would probably explain my frustration within some narrative that also makes it clear to my audience that I respect him as a human being and am willing to discover that my reasoning--the reasoning that, in light of the objective data, brought me to this point of wanting to complain--is flawed.
We all make mistakes, and by baring in my demand letter or my demand conversation my reasoning, I am implicitly inviting my opponent to reciprocate and identify to me where he might think my reasoning is flawed, which makes it less of a pissing contest and more of a mutually respectful conversation of two adults wading through facts to find truth.
One last benefit of writing like a human being. Suppose your issue is not resolved to your satisfaction in 30 days.The demand letter is the layperson's version of a legal complaint.
In it, you state what your dispute is and why you want to handle it in court. The demand letter must also contain the amount for which you are suing or the specific relief you seek. Demand Letter Example. The following letter is an example of a demand letter sent to an insurance company after an accident.
It may not apply to your situation, and does not constitute legal advice. Before going to court, it's wise to send the other party a short, clear letter demanding payment. It may seem too good to be true that a simple letter can result in the other side paying what you ask or agreeing to an acceptable compromise, but demand letters initiate a successful resolution in as many as one third of all potential disputes.
A demand letter is a document that gives formal notice that you are considering legal action. Most demand letters contain a demand for money or some other form of remedy.
Demand letters are typically written by attorneys. Drafting an effective demand letter is critical to almost any civil case.
It introduces you and your client to the other party and their representative, who may be an attorney, an . Writing a Demand Letter That Gets Results. A well-written demand letter works in as many as one-third of all cases, probably because, in legal contexts, the written word is .