Debt Collection Letter (Format & Sample)

A Debt Collection Letter is a formal, professional document written with the intent of officially requesting payment of an overdue debt. Debt collection letters are written by debt collection professionals. They form the initial contact between a collection company and a debtor.

These letters inform the debtor that the company is attempting to collect the debt and provide contact information for the company. They often include other information, such as methods by which the debtor can resolve the debt.

Debt collection letters should be written using a basic format that provides consistency and efficiency throughout the company. This format should contain critical elements that are discussed in detail below. We have also provided a basic format for debt collection letters and a sample letter demonstrating the format’s use.

These are the components every debt collection letter should have:

  • Consistency and professionalism: Be sure every debt collection letter that leaves your company is written using the same format and is printed on company letterhead. Using a basic format ensures each collection letter contains essential information. The company letterhead sets a formal and professional tone for all further communications with the debtor.
  • Detailed information about the debt. Include all available information about the debt. Writing a detailed letter ensures that the debtor has all the necessary information they need to resolve the debt. Your letter should include information about the original debt, any added interest or fees, and any payments the debtor has made. Use an itemized list to provide this information, as well as the balance after each fee or payment.
  • Methods of resolving the debt. Provide information about all available ways in which the debtor can resolve the debt. Much of this information is the same for each debt and can be included in a basic format, providing company-wide consistency. Provide a form for returning for credit card payments and offer a phone number for payment. Also, provide for payment on your website.
  • Consequences of not resolving the debt. Give the debtor the appropriate deadline for resolving the debt and discuss the next step you will take if the debt is not resolved. Do not threaten an action you are not planning to take. Because this is an early attempt letter, offer assistance in debt resolution.
  • Signature requirement. Be certain your letter is written so that a debtor signature is required to acknowledge receipt of the letter. One effective way to do this is to send your letter by certified mail. Another way to accomplish this requirement is to have the debtor sign and return a provided copy of the letter.

Ensuring your company’s basic format for debt collection letters covers all of these points helps your company resolve debt more easily and efficiently. In addition, these elements provide important documentation of the debt if legal action becomes necessary.

Debt Collection Letter Format

Here is the basic format for a debt collection letter.

{date}

{recipient name}

{recipient address}

RE: Account Number {number}

Dear {recipient},

This letter serves to inform you that we are attempting to collect on the following debt:

{date}{original debt and creditor}

{amount}
{date}{explanation of fees or interest}{amount}{total}
{date}{explanation of payment}{amount}{total}


{add rows as necessary} 

Please pay this amount in full within 30 days of the date of this letter. You can pay with a check, money order, or with a credit or debit card using the enclosed form. You can also pay online at our website {web page} or by telephone at {phone number}.

If you are unable to pay the total at this time, please contact us to discuss alternate payment arrangements. We are happy to discuss available options with you. We are available {days and times}. Our toll-free number is {phone number}.

If we have not heard from you within 30 days of the date of this letter, we will assume you are unwilling to pay this debt. Please contact us as soon as possible for assistance in resolving this matter.

Sincerely,

{your name}

Sample Debt Collection Letter

Here is a sample letter based on the above format.

January 30, 2022

Mr. James Harwood

2048 East 23

Broken Bow, NV 89667

RE: Account Number 3859784

Dear Mr. Harwood,

This letter serves to inform you that we are attempting to collect on the following debt:

5/25/21Jack’s Home Improvement Warehouse $728.00
5/25/21-1/30/22Accumulated Interest$37.00$765.00
06/20/21Payment # 89334$50.00$715.00


Total Due $715.00

Please pay the total amount in full within 30 days of the date of this letter. You can pay with a check, money order, or with a credit or debit card using the enclosed form. You can also pay online at our website at harriscollection.com/payment or by telephone at (800) 555-7662.

If you are unable to pay the total at this time, please contact us to discuss alternate payment arrangements. We are happy to discuss available options with you. We are available Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Our toll-free number is (800) 555-7662.

If we have not heard from you within 30 days of the date of this letter, we will assume you are unwilling to pay this debt. Please contact us as soon as possible for assistance in resolving this matter.

Sincerely,

Jackson Harris

Debt Collection Letter (Word Template)

Details
File Format
  • MS Word

Key Points

  • Use a consistent format throughout your company for debt collection letters.
  • Provide the debtor with all the information you can about the debt
  • Offer payment options and include an offer to discuss alternate arrangements
  • Require a signature to prove the debtor has received the letter