Write a Collection Letter • Example Letters, Guides and Samples


No matter what type of collection letter you write, it is important to gather all the facts about your customer's account and to encourage your customer to pay the money owed. Always be specific about how much the customer owes and about when the money was due. This way you will avoid future misunderstandings.
In a collection series, the letters should become increasingly stern and demanding until you must finally threaten to take aggressive action against the customer. The collection series in this category outlines six different letters which follow the pattern described above. You may, of course, wish to write more than one of letters two through five. However, do not write more than one of the final letter (letter six) because it will diminish the strength of your message.

How to write this collection letter:

  1. Immediately state the letter's purpose.
  2. If necessary, tell the customer that it is in his or her best interest to pay you.
  3. Request payment.
  4. If appropriate, indicate your willingness to discuss any difficulties the customer may be having with making the payment.

Example Letter #1


I am writing because of the $200 overdue balance on your account. Our previous letters have repeatedly urged you to make payments. We need to resolve this. Your choice is to send a check for $200 in the enclosed envelope by June 30, or call me to discuss other arrangements. If you do not respond, my only remaining choice will be to turn the matter over to a collection agency. Please send your check to avoid further action.

Example Letter #2


This notice is to inform you that our finance department reports that your account is delinquent. Your payment of $589.00 was due six weeks ago. Each of us at Doe Corporation recognizes your patronage as consistent and valuable. We sincerely hope to continue our business relationship.

Please send your payment now. Should you need to speak with a financial representative, one will be pleased to discuss payment options with you.

Example Letter #3


Your account continues delinquent. We posted your last payment more than 90 days ago. I am sure you realize that failure to correct this problem may adversely affect your credit record. Further, we will be forced to pursue other available methods. If you have not already sent your payment of $100, please do so. If you are unable to do make this payment, contact us so we can discuss other possible arrangements.

Example Letter #4


According to our records, we have not received July's payment on your account. The amount due in July, plus a late fee added to your August payment, comes to $231.14.

We must receive your payment by August 25 or we will have to suspend your account until your payments are brought up to date.

If you have further questions, or need to work out another payment plan, please call John Doe at 555-5555.

Example Letter #5


An urgent reminder: Your subscription payment is past due.

We have sent you several notices, but so far they have been ignored.

We had no choice but to suspend delivery of your journal--that is until we receive payment.

Mail the enclosed invoice with your payment or fax us at 555-5555 and pay by credit card. Pay today to reinstate your subscription.

If you have already mailed payment, please accept our apologies and disregard this notice.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step

1 Immediately state the letter's purpose.

Sample Sentences for Step 1
  • When reviewing your account, I discovered that your most recent purchase of $49.99 is two weeks past due.
  • I realize that this is probably a simple oversight on your part, but my records indicate that your account is two months past due.
  • We were surprised to find that you still had not sent your payment. It was due eight weeks ago.
  • We have tried various ways of directing your attention to your past due account over the last sixty days and are wondering why you have not responded. We request your urgent attention to this matter.
  • We have sent four friendly letters regarding your overdue account, politely requesting the $2,784.00 you still owe.
  • All of our requests for payment have been in vain. You have not responded or explained the difficulties you may be having in paying this debt. You have left us no choice but to take appropriate measures.
  • We were willing to believe that you may have overlooked our first two letters, but what about our third, fourth, and fifth letters? We still have not received a reply and regret informing you that we must now take legal action to collect full payment.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
  • a number of letters
  • according to our records
  • are wondering why
  • collect your payment
  • courteously request that
  • explain your nonpayment
  • have not received
  • have you forgotten to
  • have neglected to pay
  • in reviewing your account
  • is past due
  • make arrangements to
  • may have overlooked
  • must insist that
  • my records indicate
  • now owe us
  • on several occasions
  • probably just an oversight
  • request your urgent attention
  • still owe us
  • take action to
  • to this matter
  • were surprised to find

2 If necessary, tell the customer that it is in his or her best interest to pay you.

Sample Sentences for Step 2
  • We are concerned that if you do not remit payment soon, your credit standing will be damaged.
  • Wouldn't it be a relief to clear your account and start fresh? We're anxious to help.
  • We want to serve you to the best of our ability, and this can only happen if you choose to pay the full balance of your account.
  • I'm sure that I don't need to inform you that a perfect credit record is an enviable achievement. By withholding payment, you are in danger of seriously jeopardizing your credit standing.
  • Each passing day that you do not remit payment you are further injuring your reputation as a reliable credit risk.
  • Every day that you fail to send your payment you are losing more of your financial credibility.
  • Ultimately, you will be responsible for the damage done to your otherwise excellent credit history.
  • You are creating a potentially embarrassing and difficult situation by refusing to mail your check.
  • By ignoring our request, you are injuring your credit record.
  • Let us remind you that a negative report will appear on your permanent credit record if you do not remit payment.
  • Our report to the credit bureau may make it difficult for you to obtain credit in the future.
  • We hope you will take action to avoid further damage to your credit standing.
  • Consider the consequences of further delaying your payment. It will damage your credit record and you may incur heavy legal fees.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
  • a perfect credit record
  • a difficult situation
  • a potentially embarrassing situation
  • are concerned that
  • avoid further damage to
  • by withholding payment
  • clear your account
  • consider the consequences of
  • don't need to inform you
  • if you do not remit payment
  • in everyone's best interests to
  • injuring your reputation
  • irreparable damage to
  • may we remind you that
  • may incur heavy legal fees
  • pay the full balance
  • placing future credit in jeopardy
  • reliable credit risk
  • unless you clear this up
  • want to serve you
  • will be responsible for
  • your credit record
  • your credit standing

3 Request payment.

Sample Sentences for Step 3
  • Please send us your payment now.
  • If you have not already sent us your payment, please do so now.
  • Have you sent your check yet? If not, please send it to the address listed below.
  • Our financial department will appreciate your prompt payment.
  • We must receive your payment by March 9.
  • I urge immediate payment of the full amount due on your account.
  • We've completed our portion of our contract and now it is up to you to do your part. Please send us a check for $40.00. Enclosed is a prepaid, self-addressed envelope for your use.
  • Send your payment before your credit record is permanently affected.
  • The best solution to the problem is for you to send your payment within five days.
  • Please call me so we can discuss payment.
  • Please help us continue supplying you this protection by sending your payment of $298.38 right now.
  • We look forward to renewing your membership. Just send your check to your area treasurer listed below.
  • Your $300.00 pledge is important to many people in need. Please send your check immediately.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
  • as soon as possible
  • by return mail
  • if you have not already
  • in the enclosed envelope
  • look forward to
  • must receive your payment by
  • please call me
  • remit your payment
  • send us your payment
  • settle this matter
  • so that we can continue to
  • the postage-paid envelope
  • the full amount due
  • to the address listed below
  • will you please
  • will appreciate your
  • without further delay
  • without any unpleasantness
  • your immediate attention to
  • your end of our agreement
  • your prompt payment

4 If appropriate, indicate your willingness to discuss any difficulties the customer may be having with making the payment.

Sample Sentences for Step 4
  • I will contact you on Monday to discuss your payment options. I want to resolve this situation, so please be prepared to help me understand your current financial status.
  • If you have any questions about the enclosed invoice, please phone me and I will be happy to answer them.
  • I am willing to listen if you are experiencing difficulties and I am anxious to help you regain a good credit standing.
  • If you can't pay the full amount at this time, please call me and I'll see what we can work out together.
  • Is there a reason that you have not yet sent your payment? I am concerned about your company's future and hope you will call me to discuss payment.
  • Please let me know immediately if you are having problems that we need to discuss.
  • We need to develop a payment plan immediately, so you can pay off your debt in reasonable time.
Sample Phrases for Step 4
  • an alternative arrangement
  • anxious to help you
  • can make arrangements to
  • develop a payment plan
  • discuss payment options
  • get together and
  • if you are unable to
  • if you are experiencing difficulties
  • if you have any questions
  • let me know
  • please contact me
  • please arrange to
  • regain a good credit standing
  • talk about it
  • to meet with you
  • we understand that sometimes
  • will call you on
  • will be happy to
  • willing to assist you
  • work together to resolve
  • work something out