Talking to an adversary about a payment owed to you is all very well but it may not generate the results that you expect. After all, dialogue means that there is a good chance of “back talk” and impending arguments both of which are not exactly pleasant. If you know that the person who owes you money cannot be tackled through dialogue, it is time to make the next move – write a demand letter.
A demand letter while not a legal document, can serve as evidence in a court of law. The content of a demand letter is simple – you just need to state the facts. Without sounding rude or defensive, you should write a demand letter that outlines all the incidents that led to you writing this letter. While you may argue that the perpetrator will be aware of all that has transpired, it is a good idea to chart it all out because if the matter goes to court, you have something to present as evidence.
Tone of Letter:
The tone of a demand letter may be casual or formal depending on the individual situation. If you feel that you just want to get your message across in a written form, you may write a casual sounding demand letter. If you know that your adversary will not be too pushed by a casual tone, use a formal one – believe it or not but a formal tone can really make a difference here!
Some of the things that you would want to keep in mind when writing a demand letter include:
Reasons: The reason why you are writing a demand letter needs to be charted out first. Granted that the perpetrator will know all the reasons, it is best to do this if you intend to take the matter to court in future.
Politeness: Being polite to someone who owes you money and refuses to pay up may be the most difficult thing to do but it has to be done. You do not want the person you are demanding money from to accuse you of harassing him. Be polite but be firm!
Unambiguous: Be very specific of what it is that you want through the demand .letter. Write how much money is owed to you exactly and even mention circumstances that prevailed when that money was loaned.
Alternative: You have to be polite but you can still provide an alternative. Tell the person who owes you money that you will take this “a step further” if the money owed is not paid back within a specific time. You do not have to sound rude; you can write something like “I am afraid I will have no choice but to ask for legal help in obtaining what is rightfully mine”.
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