How to Write Patient Collection Letters

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Part of running any business is collecting past due accounts. Most customers do not set-out intending not to pay their bills; they simply fall behind. Businesses send letters to past-due customers to remind them that their accounts are past due and to encourage them to call or mail in the payment. Often, you will have to write several letters to collect on these accounts, before the client pays. The key to the successful collections letter is a firm, but sincere tone.

  • Begin the letter by typing the date, then skipping a line space. Type the client's name and address on separate lines. Skip another line, and type "Dear Mr./Ms. (Client's name)".

  • Remind the client that his account is past due. Include a description of the account name and how much is due. In addition, tell him when the last payment was received; this will illustrate to him how long it has been since he made a payment.

  • Offer an incentive if he pays within a specified time frame, like a discount or a waiver on the late fees.

  • Offer to help the client negotiate a payment plan, if applicable. Usually the new plan offers lower payments that are more affordable to the client. Use a sincere, understanding tone to encourage the client to take advantage of this offer.

  • Explain to the client what will happen to his account if he doesn't pay. Mention the consequences if he is more than 30 days behind or if he is habitually late with his payments, but not if it is his first late notice. Be specific, so that he will understand the consequences, if he doesn't pay his bill now.

  • Provide your contact information and a payment envelope for the client's convenience.

  • Close the letter with "Sincerely," skip three lines, and type your name. Print the letter and sign above your typed name.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the customer does not respond to this offer, write again and use a firmer tone.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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