Free Letter Before Action

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Letter Before Action


Debt Owed
Action Required
Insurance Claim

Your Letter Before Action

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________ day of ________________, ________


Dear Sir/Madam,

You were to have paid the amount of £_______ GBP (the "Debt") to me on 3 July 2022 and this Debt remains outstanding despite my requests for payment. The Debt relates to:

I hereby demand that payment of the full amount of the Debt be paid to me within _______ days from the date of this letter at the following address: ____________________.

Please note that if I have to commence legal proceedings in order to secure repayment of the debt owing, this letter will be tendered in court as evidence of your failure to attempt to resolve this matter. Further, you may be liable for any court costs, lawyer fees and damages, including punitive damages.

You might want to contact a lawyer to discuss your legal rights and responsibilities.

Yours sincerely,


Demand Letter Information

Alternate Names:

A Demand Letter is also known as a:

  • Debt Collection Letter
  • Debt Recovery Letter
  • Letter Before Action
  • Letter of Claim
  • Payment Request Letter

What is a Demand Letter?

A Demand Letter, also known as a letter before action, is the final reminder one party may send to another in an attempt to resolve a dispute. It specifies what the recipient must do in order to resolve the dispute and warns of legal proceedings if a resolution isn't reached.

Typically, the letter is used when two parties enter into a contract with each other but one party does not uphold their end of the agreement (e.g. if one party borrows money from another and does not repay the debt within the agreed upon timeline). With a letter before action, one party intends to let the other know how serious they are about claiming what is rightfully owed to them.

If a settlement cannot be reached and legal action is taken, you can use the letter as evidence in court to prove you attempted to resolve the dispute in good faith (i.e. by being sincere, honest, and dutiful with your negotiations).

Do I need a lawyer to write a Demand Letter?

Each situation regarding a Demand Letter is unique. Whether or not you will need a solicitor will depend on the complexity of your situation (e.g. if you are unclear about each party's liabilities, rights, or responsibilities) and your need for expert legal advice.

LawDepot's Demand Letter template is intended for people who have a clear understanding of the details of their demand.

How do I write a Demand Letter?

To write a letter before action, simply answer the questions in LawDepot's letter before action template as they relate to your particular situation. The information you'll need to complete the questionnaire includes:

  • General details: the general category that describes the nature of your demand (i.e. a debt owed, action required, insurance claim, NSF cheque, or stopped payment)
  • Party details: the full names and contact information of all the parties involved in the dispute (i.e. the demander and the recipient)
  • Demand details: a complete description of the demand, including any documentation that supports your claim (e.g. the amount of an owed debt plus interest, with an attached copy of a Loan Agreement)

Can you ignore a Demand Letter?

Once a Demand Letter is sent, the recipient can either acknowledge the issue and comply with your request, reply with a counteroffer, or ignore your letter completely.

If the recipient does not respond to your letter, you may decide to commence legal proceedings, however, it is recommended you give the recipient a reasonable period of time to comply with your request (typically, about three to five business days).

How do I serve a Demand Letter?

In some cases, a recipient may claim they unintentionally ignored a Demand Letter because the demander failed to deliver the letter appropriately. To avoid a dispute about the delivery of your Demand Letter, it's recommended you ensure the recipient gets the letter by doing one or more of the following:

  • Delivering it in person and obtaining an Affidavit of service
  • Delivering it through a registered mail service and obtaining a certificate of posting
  • Keeping a copy of the Demand Letter for yourself
  • Keeping a record of the time, date, and place of delivery

It's important to note that delivering a Demand Letter personally (i.e. handing the papers directly to the recipient) is often the best way to guarantee and prove a recipient actually received the document.

Alternatively, you may wish to consult a solicitor about the best way to formally serve your Demand Letter to its recipient. A solicitor is likely to be familiar with service of document laws, which may vary by jurisdiction, and can guarantee the papers are delivered in a way that can be proven in court.

Why should I send a Demand Letter?

A Demand Letter is a viable option for people who wish to resolve a small claims dispute amicably while avoiding drawn-out and costly litigation. A Demand Letter can help you outline your grievances and your course of action in the event your demands are not met, as well as provide the recipient with the opportunity to comply with the request or make a counteroffer.

In other words, a Demand Letter is evidence of your attempt to negotiate a settlement in good faith and can be used in court to support your claim if need be.

Related Documents:

  • Affidavit: A written statement, certified by someone who can legally administer oaths, in which a person lists facts they swear to be true
  • Cease and Desist Letter: A letter requesting an individual or organisation refrain from performing a certain action, presently and in the future, or else legal action will be taken
  • Promissory Note: A written promise from a borrower to repay a debt according to terms laid out in the agreement
  • Release of Liability: A document in which a party agrees to waive their rights to pursue legal action against another party in the event of a dispute in exchange for compensation
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