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15-Day Demand Letter for Payment

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15-Day Demand Letter for Payment

Updated August 23, 2023

A 15-day demand letter for payment is a formal written request for settlement of a debt. This brief letter is often all it takes to get an opposing party to pay up – but if not, it can serve as a critical piece of evidence if things end up in court.

What to Include

This letter should explain how the current situation arose and provide clear instructions for resolution. It should include:

  • A summary of the original incident and an explanation of why payment is being sought
  • The total payment that is demanded
  • A history of past attempts at resolution
  • The deadline for payment
  • Next steps if payment is not made by the deadline

How to Write a 15-Day Demand Letter (4 steps)

  1. Specify the Amount of Money Owed
  2. Date the Debt That Needs to be Paid
  3. Warn of Legal Action
  4. Make Copies and Send

1. Specify the Amount of Money Owed

Make sure to clearly detail how much money is owed and describe. Provide a comprehensive summary of events and include documentation if possible.

2. Date the Debt That Needs to be Paid

Calculate the deadline for payment by counting fifteen days forward from the date of the letter. Do not worry about when the letter will be received; usually, it only takes a few days to go through the mail.

3. Warn of Legal Action

Outline next steps if payment is not made. This gives the demand letter teeth. Without being vengeful or overly aggressive, describe how you will escalate things if your demand is not met – by filing a case in small claims court or enlisting a collections service, for example.

4. Make Copies and Send

Print out the letter, sign it, and send it by certified mail to ensure that it is received. Keep a copy for personal records.

Sample 15-Day Demand Letter for Payment

May 1, 2017

Dear John Hughes,

This letter serves as a formal request for payment of $1050.00, the total rent owed for February 2017, when you were a tenant in my home at 123 Main Street, Lakeland, PA.

I have included a copy of the lease with this letter for your reference.

I have previously tried to contact you by email (March 1, 2017 and March 15, 2017), and by phone, leaving voicemail messages on March 21, 2017 and April 1, 2017.

As of the date of this letter, I had yet to receive any response from you.

If I do not receive payment in full by May 16, 2017 , I will have no choice but to initiate legal action against you in Pennsylvania small claims court.


Margaret Stoughton

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