Why Is Sending a Demand Letter Before a Lawsuit the Best Option?

Breach of Contract Why Is Sending a Demand Letter Before a Lawsuit the Best Option?

A Demand Letter Before a Lawsuit Could Save You Time and Money

It is frustrating when someone refuses to perform their obligations under a contract. You have done your part and would now like to receive what you have agreed upon.

While the situation is not pleasant, you can deal with a breach of contract successfully by yourself. You should send a demand letter before a lawsuit to:

  • Give the other party one more chance to honor their commitments
  • Avoid hiring a pricey lawyer and going to court right away
  • Ensure the breaching party understands that if they keep refusing to fulfill contractual terms, you will seek damages or other legal remedies in court

Are You Required To Write a Demand Letter Before a Lawsuit?

Some courts mandate you to send a demand letter before filing a lawsuit. If your state laws do not require you to do it, you should consider sending one since:

  • No one wants to go through complex and time-consuming litigation and:
    • Hire expensive attorneys
    • Settle court fees and additional costs
  • Even if you do not resolve the problem out of court and end up suing for damages, drafting a breach of contract letter offers you a way to:
    • Organize the matter
    • Gather the necessary information and evidence

Why Is Writing a Demand Letter Before a Lawsuit Effective?

The following table shows you why a well-drafted demand letter could be beneficial for your case:

Send a Demand Letter ToDetails
Inform the breaching partyYou should formally notify the other contractual party that:

  • They have not fulfilled the terms of the contract
  • You:
    • Have suffered losses because of the breach
    • Will not hesitate to initiate a lawsuit if they do not perform their obligations under the contract
Create a recordSending a demand letter shows the court that you have tried to:

  • Reach an out-of-court settlement
  • Minimize the harm and expenses before filing a lawsuit

Keep in mind that resolving the dispute outside of court is also in your best interest since, in legal proceedings, you will need to:

  1. Demonstrate breach of contract elements
  2. Pay filing fees and additional expenses
  3. Deal with affirmative defenses the other party might raise

A Sample Letter of Intent To Sue for a Breach of Contract

To ensure your demand letter covers all necessary aspects, you can use the following as your checklist:

  • Date—Make sure to date your letter as it will:
  • Breach description—Provide a list of contract parts the other party has breached. You could, for instance, clearly state that they have:
    • Not paid you
    • Not done the agreed-upon job
    • Refused to fulfill the specific terms of the contract
    • Made it difficult or impossible for you to perform your contractual obligations
  • Possible solutions—Suggest a solution to rectify the problem, including a new deadline for the other party to:
    • Make the payment
    • Deliver the services or goods
  • Intent to sue—Your demand letter should make it clear to the other party that, if required, you will pursue the matter through the courts
  • Contact information—Don’t forget to include your contact details if the breaching party would like to get in touch and discuss the issue further

How To Create a Demand Letter Before a Lawsuit

To prepare your demand letter, you could use the options presented in the following table:

How To Draft a Demand LetterPay Attention to the Following
Do it by yourselfIf you would like to prepare a demand letter on your own, you need to get familiar with the legal requirements in your state. You could use online templates, but you must check them carefully as many are general and do not:

  1. Comply with specific state laws
  2. Meet all case requirements (i.e., might not be suitable for a material, anticipatory, or some other type of breach)
Hire an attorneyYou do not need to have a lawyer draft a demand letter for you. In case you decide to hire one, you should:

  1. Keep in mind that attorney’s fees can be high
  2. Make sure you can afford this type of service
Use a collection agencyWhile debt collectors can help you get paid, they will also charge a:

  • Considerable fee
  • Percentage of the recovered money
Choose DoNotPayOur AI-powered app knows what:

  • Aspects your demand letter needs to cover
  • State laws the letter has to comply with

We can help you get an airtight demand letter in a matter of minutes

DoNotPay Creates Watertight Demand Letters

Our app is familiar with legal requirements and will make sure your demand letter:

  1. Includes all necessary details
  2. Is suitable for your particular circumstances

To prepare a convincing demand letter, subscribe to DoNotPay and:

  1. Open the Client Breach of Contract product
  2. Answer a few questions about the agreement and the other contractual party
  3. Describe the performed services
  4. Insert a new date for the other party to resolve the problem before you take legal action

Once you have provided the necessary information, DoNotPay creates your demand letter automatically.

If the breaching party does not reply or refuses to honor their commitments, DoNotPay can help you sue in small claims court.

Learn About State-Specific Breach of Contract Procedures

You will find the following table useful if you would like to explore breach of contract regulations across the U.S.:

ColoradoNew YorkIllinois
VirginiaNew JerseyOhio
South CarolinaNorth CarolinaFlorida

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