Cómo escribir una carta de colección [+ plantillas gratuitas]

Writing a collection letter requires you to follow the right steps and use proper tone and language in your letter. When creating your letter, make sure that its concise and to the point, and include all the necessary information, such as the purpose of your letter, a summary of outstanding invoices, acceptable payment methods. Writing effective collection letters are an important part of extending credit to customers and a best practice for managing accounts receivable . Typically, you should send out four letters before resorting to a collection agency.

For your convenience, weve provided a series of free collection letter templates, which you or your bookkeeper can download and customize with your company logo, mailing address, and other essential information.

  • First Collection Letter Template
  • Second Collection Letter Template
  • Third Collection Letter Template
  • Final Collection Letter Template

Main Features of Collection Letters

Collection letters have certain features that make them unique from other types of business letters, such as:

  • The parties involved: The letter should include the name and address of the seller and the buyer who purchased on credit.
  • Objective: The main objective is to remind the customer that their balance is past due and should be settled as soon as possible.
  • Series of letters: Collection letters should be written and sent out in a series as needed.
  • Reference to the previous letters: When composing the second, third, and final collection letter, make sure to include a reference to the earlier letter.
  • Language: Its important that the letter is written in a polite, straightforward, and professional manner.

Best Practices for Writing a Collection Letter

Lets look at the essential best practices necessary for writing a collection letter.

  • Keep it short and to the point; dont use complicated language.
  • Include your contact information, including phone number, email address, and mailing address.
  • Type the letter; dont handwrite it.
  • Use company letterhead.
  • Include a copy of the invoice(s) or a summarized statement for multiple outstanding invoices.
  • Include a specific date the account should be made current, such as payment should be made no later than April 17 as opposed to payment should be made within seven business days.
  • Include acceptable payment methods like check, credit card, and debit card.
  • Use a postage-paid envelope so they can drop a check in the mail easily.

4 Types of Collection Letters

Typically, youll send your customer a series of four collection letters before hiring a collection agency or recording a bad debt expense.

  • First Letter
  • Second Letter
  • Third Letter
  • Fourth & Final Letter

The first collection letter should be mailed only after you have tried asking for payment in an email or telephone call. If youre a QuickBooks Online user, you can email an invoice to your customer to facilitate easy payment. If you need help sending emailed invoices in QuickBooks, read our guide on how to create and send invoices in QuickBooks Online .

If the customer hasnt made payment arrangements with you after contacting them via telephone and email, you should mail the first collection letter. In general, this should be no later than 14 days after the invoice due date.

Before sending a second collection letter, a telephone call should be made to see if the first letter was received and if the customer would like to make payment arrangements. If unsuccessful, its time to send the second collection letter. The primary difference between the first letter and the second is that you will include the fact that you did attempt to reach the customer in the first letter.

After sending the second collection letter, you should attempt to reach the customer by telephone again. If the customer doesnt respond within a couple of weeks, send a third collection letter. Similar to the second letter, you will include language to inform the customer that previous contact attempts via letters and telephone calls have been unsuccessful, which has resulted in this third attempt.

We also recommend that you send this letter by certified mail. This will require that someone signs for the letter, and it will provide you with proof that the letter was received. This kind of documentation will be important if you have to take legal action to collect this debt.

While there may be some exceptions, by the time you get to a fourth collection letter, it should be painfully clear that your customer is either unwilling or unable to pay their debt. The language will be the most assertive of the letters but should remain professional. Similar to the third letter, you need to send this final collection letter via certified mail.

When To Hire a Collection Agency

After multiple attempts to collect on a delinquent account with telephone calls and letters fail, you should consider hiring a collection agency. One thing to keep in mind is that, once you hire a collection agency, you wont receive the full amount that is owed to you. Collection agencies generally charge between 25% and 45% of the total amount to be collected. Depending on the amount of the outstanding debt, this may not be worth hiring a collection agency for.

Choosing To Write the Account Off as Bad Debt

If you decide to just cut your losses and not hire a collection agency, you should go ahead and write the account off as bad debt. This will at least allow you to claim a tax deduction for the amount owed to you if youre an accrual-basis taxpayer.

Bottom Line

We hope that with this guide, you have learned how to compose an effective collection letter, which can help you get paid while maintaining a positive relationship with the customer. As you have observed from our free templates, the key is to keep it professional and to the point.

What is meant by collection letter

A collection letter is a written notification to inform a consumer of his due payments . It is an official message to a borrower. A collection letter may include reminders, inquiries, warnings or notification of possible legal actions.

How do you write a collection letter

A debt collection letter should include the following information:

  1. The amount the debtor owes you.
  2. The initial due date of the payment.
  3. A new due date for the payment, whether ASAP or longer.
  4. Instructions on how to pay the debt.

What should I do if I get a collection letter

If you receive a notice from a debt collector, it’s important to respond as soon as possible -even if you do not owe the debt-because otherwise the collector may continue trying to collect the debt, report negative information to credit reporting companies, and even sue you.

How do I write a final collection letter

A few things to include in your final collection letter:

  1. Mention of previous attempts to collect – including any statements, emails, and letters you have sent.
  2. Invoice number and amount.
  3. Original invoice due date.
  4. Current days past due.
  5. Instructions- what they need to do next.