Request Payment Letter

Mary Gormandy White
Past Due Envelope

Do you need to write a request payment letter? While contacting clients and asking them to pay bills are past due is unpleasant, it is something people who own and manage businesses certainly have to do from time to time.

Template for Request Payment

To use the letter template provided here, simply click the image below. The document will open as a PDF file that you can then edit, save and print as needed. Use this guide to Adobe printables if you need assistance with how to use this document.

Writing Tips for a Payment Request Letter

While you are free to adjust the information in the template however you see fit, it's important to use an appropriate tone and be sure that the document is professionally formatted.

Use an Appropriate Tone

When sending a letter to a client or customer requesting payment, it's essential to communicate your point as clearly as possible while maintaining a positive, professional tone. Don't send a first or second request that is so negative the client feels attacked.

If the tone is too harsh, the client may feel there is no point in trying to continue a relationship with your business. When that happens, there's a risk the client will choose not to pay the bill, since he or she is not concerned with preserving the relationship.

Use Professional Formatting

Use company letterhead and formal block style, the standard business letter format, if you are sending a payment request letter by mail or fax. Depending on your company's correspondence procedures, it may also be acceptable for you to transmit the letter via email. If so, it's better to include the letter in the body of the email message rather than as an attachment file. It is not necessary to create a letterhead template for an email message, but you should close the communication with your official company email signature.

Following Up

If you send a payment request letter on a past due account and you do not hear back from the recipient within 30 days, it's advisable to place a follow-up phone call. As with the letter, it's appropriate to maintain a positive tone.

Attempt to speak directly to the person responsible for paying the bill and confirm receipt of the letter. If you are able to talk with the responsible party, offer to process credit card payment via telephone if it is possible to do so. If not, ask when you can expect to receive payment. Make a note of the date and follow up accordingly.

Additional Actions for Collection

If payment is not received as agreed upon, you'll need to escalate the account to the next step in your company's procedure for managing delinquent accounts. If the bill remains unpaid for an extended period of time, the tone of future collections letters will need to be firmer, eventually being turned over to a collection agency only when necessary.

While there are certainly circumstances under which final collections actions need to be taken, it is not advisable to do so until you have exhausted every possible avenue of resolving the late payment amicably. Until you are actually ready to send the account to collections or take legal action, do not mention such actions in payment request correspondence with people or businesses whose accounts are past due.

Request Payment Letter