Last Resort Collection Letter

Last Resort Collection Letter

Comment:  The tone of the last resort collection letter should be, wherever possible, one of fairness and goodwill. There should be no hint of exasperation. There are times, however, when a forceful letter (sometimes signed by an owner or company officer) becomes necessary. Before writing one, it is well to obtain legal advice because certain types of threat and harassment are punishable by law.

Example 12

I’m happy to say that it’s seldom necessary for us to turn an account over for collection. When circumstances leave us no choice, the customer is always informed of our intended action.

Neither you nor I want to see this happen. We pride ourselves on the friendly relationships we have established with our customers and a lawsuit would destroy that. We value your account, and are exceedingly reluctant to take any step that would eliminate that good will.

You will surely agree that we have been fair and most patient. However, the time has come when YOUR ACCOUNT MUST BE PAID. Unless you show some effort to protect your credit rating, I have no choice but to authorize collection action.

Please mail us your check immediately so that you can avoid this final step.

Example 12A

I have been asked to approve the placing of your past-due account for immediate collection. I have deliberately hesitated from taking such action so that I could send you this letter informing you of the seriousness of the situation.

We have made every effort to be fair and patient in requesting that you pay your account of $(   ). You must certainly, in all honestly, realize this. We have asked many times to let us know how we could cooperate with you in getting this matter settled amicably. You have ignored our previous requests. Thus, your silence leaves us no choice but to place your account for collection — a step we would sincerely regret.

This is a final request for your cooperation.

May we please have your check for $(   ), now?