If someone owes you money, you may attempt to retrieve it by sending the person or company a 10-day demand letter. We cover everything you need to know about this formal document in this article. We also provide a template at the end to assist you in writing a proper letter.
What Is a 10-Day Demand Letter?
The 10-day demand letter is a formal request for payment to someone who owes you money. The demand letter is sent if informal attempts to settle the debt aren’t working out. It acts as a formal notice and may jolt the recipient into complying with the demand.
As the name suggests, the “10-day” letter requires the recipient to take action and settle the debt within 10 days. Note that 10-day demand letters are usually sent to settle small debts, not large ones.
A demand letter of any sort is used as evidence in court, in cases when the matter doesn’t get resolved. As such, it’s seen as an important document and needs to be well-worded.
When and Why a 10-Day Demand Letter Is Needed?
There are several cases where you send a 10-day demand letter. It always involves debt of some sort:
- When you pay for an item but the seller doesn’t ship it to you, you can demand your money back.
- When the other party doesn’t acknowledge your informal requests.
- When they are purposefully hard to reach.
- When they claim they don’t owe you anything.
- When they commit but fail to deliver.
There are multiple reasons why you should write a 10-day demand letter:
- Seeing an official notice can cause someone to cave in and settle the debt.
- The demand letter acts as evidence in court if it goes that far.
- The demand letter helps you to organize your case.
- It can save you from having to fight in court and spend time and money.
What Should Be Included in a 10-Day Demand Letter?
Here’s everything you should put in a 10-day demand letter:
1. Background information
Describe the nature of your relationship with the other party and the transaction involved. Mention all relevant details about it: the date the transaction took place, the nature of the service, your previous resolution attempts, and their response.
Attach as much evidence as possible showing the other party is in default. For example, a receipt of purchase, photos of damaged goods, or an acknowledgment to deliver by a date that has long since passed.
Make sure you consult the merchant or company’s policy regarding repayment if it applies before you write the letter.
3. The demand
Make the actual demand. The exact money due should be mentioned, including the calculations as to why you arrived at that number. If you’re willing to escalate matters, mention that you won’t hesitate to take them to small claims court.
4. Due date
In a 10-day letter, the due date is ten days from you signing the letter. The due date still needs to be specifically mentioned somewhere in the letter, preferably near the end. 10 days is ample time to settle small debts.
5. Repayment options
If applicable, you can offer a bunch of repayment options. You could, for example, offer to accept cash payment or a check for the amount due. This is optional, though offering may help you settle the case faster.
10-Day Demand Letter Writing Tips
- Keep the tone polite and professional. Asking nicely may help.
- Making threats is not a good idea. It makes a negative impression in court.
- Send the letter with a return receipt, allowing you to prove they received it.
- Make copies of the letter.
- Involve your attorney as a last resort.
A well-written 10-day demand letter may save you a great deal of hassle later. Remember to remain respectful throughout and make reasonable, justifiable demands. You can use our free template below to draft an appropriate letter.
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