What is a demand letter?

Demand letters are the beginning of any lawsuit. They clearly tell their recipients that a court will compel them to comply with the demands if they don’t do so independently. They can help resolve as many as 80% of cases without the need to file in court.

For some people, receiving a demand letter may be the first time they seriously consider the issue. Even if you’ve already communicated informally, a demand letter is always worth sending.

Dispute can help you quickly and easily draft a demand letter so that you can resolve your issue without the need to go to court.

What are the necessary elements of a demand letter?

How should a demand letter sound?

  • Strong
  • Accurate
  • Formal
  • Grammatically correct without spelling errors.

Write with your recipient in mind. Try to write in simple language that they’ll understand.

What does it look like?

One-Two-Sentence Summary:

Include specific dates and agreements, as well as how the recipient failed to meet your expectations.


On November 7th, we came to an agreement for you to repair my fence for $2,500, including time and materials. You cashed the check I wrote, but you haven’t performed any work on my fence in the two months since November 7th.

Further Description:

This section can be developed more or less depending on your preferences. Keep the recipient in mind. They probably will not want to read a very long and dense letter.

Consider this example:

I have retained your carpentry services before on several occasions in the last three years. You always completed the work at a high standard and it was always to my satisfaction. I would accept delivery of the promised services instead of a refund if work can begin immediately and end by the 19th of January.

In California, oral contracts are fully enforceable. In addition, our discussion over text of when to meet in person at my home to discuss the repair on November 7th and the fact that you cashed the check I gave you that day will make it very clear to a judge that you have effectively stolen $2,500.

Request for Payment

Make it clear how the recipient can repay you. Demand letters help many people avoid court. So make repayment feel like the best option to the reader.

Example: If you do not immediately commence the repair of my fence at 123 Woodrow St. or deliver a check for the full amount of $2,500 payable to me by the 19th of January, I will file suit against you in the County of Los Angeles.

Generate and Mail a Letter With Dispute

Here at Dispute, we make it easy to mail and send demand letters. With our tools, you can easily generate a letter on professional letterhead and get you money back. Don't worry about formatting, finding an envelope, finding a printer, or going to the post office. Simply click a button and let us handle it.