• Reminder Letters & Collection Letters
• A reminder letter is a letter that asks if a client has forgotten to
pay a bill. It gently reminds clients that they owe payment to a
company. If the client does not send payment, the company
sends a collection letter.
• A collection letter is a letter that asks for a late payment (a
collection) from a client.
• Both reminder letters & collection letters must be clear & firm,
but also polite & professional.
• Before you write the letter, make sure you have all the
information about the problem.
• If necessary, contact other people in your company. Ask them
if they have anything to add.
– The Essentials of a collection letter are:
• The reminder
– Reminding the customer that his payment is past due.
• The collection series
– 1st Letter
– The first of these letters is sent after the collection reminder has
been ignored and should be mild but specific, stating the amount
due and for how long the balance has remained unpaid. Provide
the customer with an excuse for being delinquent.
– 2nd Letter
– In the second letter we should use different types of appeals,
such as appeal to good will, to pride, to justice, and fair play.
» Appeal to good will: Make clear that you trust that the
debtors has good intention, but has forgotten or overlooks
» Appeal to pride: Make the customer feel he is not
treating you fairly. You have done your part, and the
customer has not done his part, which is to pay the
» Appeal to pride: Pride is one of the strongest emotions
and an appeal to that feeling will usually bring the
– 3rd Letter
– The third letter should make an appeal to fear. If all other
appeals have been used without the expected results, it is
obvious that we must resort to stronger treatment. Write
this letter threatening legal action. This will suggest that
the debtor’s credit will suffer if payment of his obligation
is not made.
– A. Getting Started
• 1. Read the e-mails between two co-workers at Santrak
Industries. They are waiting for several late payments.
• 2. Complete the Collection Chart. Write the date a check was
received or a letter was sent. Write n/a (not applicable letter
did not need to be sent. Write ? if the information is not
– B. Model Letter: Reminder Letter or Collection
• Look at the different elements of a reminder letter or
– Useful language
• Your account balance of ______ was due ______ .
• All payments are due, in full, ______ .
• Please remit payment ______ .
• We look forward to continuing our valuable
relationship with ______ .
– C. Composing Your Message
– The body of a reminder letter or collection letter generally has four
• Part 1, Opening
– Content: Identify the missing payment (s).
» Ex: Your account balance of $ 2,456 for the invoice dated
May 30 was due on June 30.
• Part 2, Focus
– Content: Give details about payment
» Ex: All payments are due, in full, within 30 days of
receiving an invoice.
– C. Composing Your Message
• Part 3, Action
– Content: Review future action.
» Ex: Please remit payment no later than August 31.
• Part 4, Closing
– Content: Be positive about the business relationship
» Ex: We look forward to continuing our valuable
relationship with Maltech.
» Practice 1
» Two of the sentences are appropriate to use in a
reminder letter or collection letter. Circle the letter of
the two sentences.
– That’s Good Business
• A collection agency is a company that finds people
who owe money to another business and forces
them to pay it.
• It is best to make payments to the original business
where you owe money before that business sends
your account to a collection agency.
– Writing Your Message
• Time Expressions
– The time expressions no later, by, on, and within are close in
meaning. It is important to use the correct expression so readers
understand what they have to do. Look at the explanations
» No later than August 31 means payment can be received at
any time but must be received by that specific date.
» By August 31 means payment can be received at any time
but must be received by that specific date.
» On August 31 means payment is due on that specific date.
» Within the month of August means payment can received
any time during that month but must be received before the
– Well Said
• In all business letters, including reminder and
collection letters, it is important to be polite &
professional. All clients are important, including
clients who pay late.
» Practice 2
» Choose the words that best complete the sentences.
– The words the, a, and an are articles. Use the refer to something
specific; use a and an to refer to something general or unknown.
» Your account balance of $2,456 for the invoice dated May
30 was due on June 30.
» All payments are due, in full, within 30 days of receiving an
» Practice 3
» Choose the articles that best complete the sentences.
• Look forward to + gerund
– Use the expression look forward to followed by a gerund [-ing
verb functioning as a noun] to talk about something positive that
will happen in the future. Do not use an infinitive or other verb
form. You may also use a noun that is not a gerund.
» Practice 4
» Rewrite these incorrect sentences using the expressions look
forward to + gerund.
– That’s Good Business
– Many companies send a second invoice before they send a
collection letter. Often you have to send more than one
collection letter before a clien sends payment. Each new letter
that you send about a late payment should be firmer than the last.
» Letter Practice 1
» Complete the sentences in this letter. Use the words
» Letter Practice 2
» Alejandro Comar sent a collection letter about a late
payment. He made ten errors. Find the errors, and
write the correct word or punctuation above.
– Homework Assignment
» On a separate piece of paper, write a letter to Gornan
Industries or Maltech. Use the information in the chart on
» 1. Write a collection letter to Gornan Industries about the
June 30 invoice.
» 2. Write a collection letter to Maltech about the May 30
» 3. Please look definitions of these words in the glossary at
the end of the book: a). collection agency, b). firm, c).
headquarters, d). notice, e). partial, f). reminder, g). remit.
– D. Model Letter: Collection Reminders that
– E. Model Letter: Collecting Small Amounts
– F. Model Letter: Series to Collect Large