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10 Steps to a Strong Demand Letter

Updated: Oct 29, 2022

Plaintiff writing a demand letter for small claims court. Will Help You Write and Send a Demand Letter for FREE

1. Understand the Purpose of a Demand Letter

Avoid Court

The cost of sending a demand letter is much less than the cost of filing a lawsuit and the time spent sending a demand letter is much less than the time spent filing and carrying out a lawsuit. In the best-case scenario, a formally worded demand letter will often convince the other party to pay, as they too want to avoid a lawsuit.

Proof for Court

In the event you do not get the response you had hoped for, your demand letter will serve as proof to a judge that you notified the defendant of the money owed to you. It's important for the judge to see that you requested payment before filing a lawsuit against the defendant.

Why NOT Send a Demand Letter?

While courts generally require that you demand the return of your property prior to filing a lawsuit, there are some exceptions to that rule. If you have been threatened or harassed by the borrower or if you have a restraining order against the other party; and you are afraid of being physically injured, the court will not require you to demand payment before filing your lawsuit.

2. Type Your Letter

3. Be Polite and Professional

4. Gather Your Facts

5. Make a Clear Demand

6. Set a Deadline

7. Emphasize Legal Action

8. Keep It Concise

9. Make Copies

10. Send Via Certified Mail

Next Step After Letter of Demand>



The quest for justice is never easy, particularly when it comes to getting your money back. However, thanks to advances in technology, it has become easier. Quest for Justice’s first app, JusticeDirect, is the only app of its kind designed to support people without lawyers resolve their dispute and get their money back, both in and out of court. The first step to getting money back is through a letter demanding payment from the other party JusticeDirect offers customizable demand letters for free. If the letter demanding payment does not work, then the next step is taking them to court. JusticeDirect* will guide users every step of the way through the small claims court process by helping them:

  1. Understand the legal process;

  2. Evaluate the pros and cons that come with taking someone to court;

  3. Generate small claims court forms; and,

  4. Avoid common mistakes when filing your forms and serving notice on the other side.

*Currently, JusticeDirect can only help litigants sue in California’s small claims court.

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