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A letter before action is the last letter you should send before commencing legal action to recover a debt. A final demand letter formally reminds and requests your client or customer one last time to make payment before you take legal action. This letter before claim details all the necessary information including the date the debt was owed, any interest that is to be paid, and how long the debtor has to pay before legal proceedings will take place.

When to use

Use this letter before action

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What it covers

This letter before action covers

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Further advice

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Ask a lawyer for:

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This letter is used for debts which are subject to English law or organisations based in England and Wales

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Letter Before Action - Letter Before Claim - Letter Before Action Template

Overview of the Letter before action

A letter before action is the last letter you should send before commencing legal action to recover a debt. A final demand letter formally reminds and requests your client or customer one last time to make payment before you take legal action. This letter before claim details all the necessary information including the date the debt was owed, any interest that is to be paid, and how long the debtor has to pay before legal proceedings will take place.

When to use

Use this letter before action

  • when you want to recover a debt that is owing to you or your organisation
  • when you want to take further action after a second payment reminder letter has been sent and the debt remains outstanding
  • when you intend to give a last chance for payment before commencing legal proceedings for collection and enforcement of the debt

What it covers

This letter before action covers

  • the amount owing (the debt)
  • the date the debt owing should have been paid
  • whether interest is payable on the debt
  • automatic calculation of the amount of interest to be paid in total
  • automatic calculation of the continuing daily amount of interest charged as long as the debt remains unpaid
  • the threat of issue of legal proceedings for a county court judgment (‘CCJ’) which will be taken if the debt is not paid by a deadline
  • other enforcement procedures to recover the debt

Further advice

Ask a lawyer for:

  • advice on debt recovery and dispute resolution procedures
  • advice on debt recovery outside England and Wales
  • advice as to whether an insolvency procedure is appropriate

This letter is used for debts which are subject to English law or organisations based in England and Wales

Sample Letter before action

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This document is also sometimes called: Final demand letter and Letter before claim.