HomeFWJ TakeawayResourcesWhen to send a demand letter

We are often asked when best to send a demand letter? Our fantastic team at FWJ can answer this and any other debt related questions.

A demand letter, or as it is otherwise known, a letter before claim or solicitors letter is something which is commonly used in debt recovery claims.

The first rule is that a letter before action should only be sent when a debt is overdue. Otherwise, there is no debt to claim back.

  • it is therefore important that you check your payment terms and conditions or if you have received a demand letter, check what the payment terms and conditions in the underlying contract of supply were.
  • there can sometimes be a dispute over the payment terms which can make it more difficult to understand when to send a demand letter.

If you are chasing a business debt against a customer, some people are concerned about the effect of sending a demand letter. It is therefore important to understand whether the letter before action may impact on future business between you and the end customer.

  • ultimately, a decision is to be made as to whether you actually want to trade with that customer who is not paying you.
  • some businesses will simply send demand letters after a set period of time following the overdue debt. That can be for example 30 days after the debt is overdue or 60 or 90 days. We would normally recommend the first letter goes out after 30 days.

There can be different types of demand letters.

  • some companies or businesses run what is called a Dunning cycle and they have 2-3 sets of letter before claim which go out at various intervals.
  • after that, they may refer the matter to a solicitor.
  • often, at that stage it is very useful to send out a solicitor’s letter as otherwise, the debtor may simply continue to ignore the demands for payment.

At Francis Wilks & Jones, we have huge experience of sending out letters before action for clients. We have sent out tens of thousands of debt recover letters and have recovered tens of millions of pounds for our clients over the years.


Whatever the description, we at Francis Wilks & Jones have a effective suite of demand letters and can advise you as best when to send a demand letter.

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