When there is a payment dispute, the demand letter can be a highly effective and affordable tool for construction professionals to utilize in order to obtain payment from an owner. One mistake many construction professionals make is that they do not hire an experienced Charlotte construction lawyer to draft their demand letter. In this three-part article, we will cover several of the reasons why you should never draft your own demand letter. We will also discuss how partnering with an attorney to draft your demand letter can help you resolve a conflict quickly while avoiding costly litigation. Remember, if you are involved in a payment dispute, consult a Charlotte construction law firm.
1) They’re Missing the Point
As we said before, a common reason why a contractor needs to send a demand letter to an owner is because they are seeking payment. A demand letter shows that the contractor attempted to resolve the dispute well before taking legal action. This document also provides the opportunity to present your case of why you are requesting payment. There should also be a specific request of the action to be taken along with a deadline. It’s also important to note that a demand letter can be utilized as an important piece of evidence in a case.
If your dispute has progressed to the point that you need to write a demand letter, chances are that you’ve already exhausted several conventional means of requesting payment. For example, you’ve probably already made a verbal request for payment, sent several emails with invoices attached, or tried calling the owner or their place of business. Without a licensed attorney drafting your demand letter, writing your own letter is most likely just another failed method of asking for payment.
2) They Use a Boilerplate Demand Letter
Contractors and construction business owners are busy professionals that have little time to draft a demand letter. Many professionals looking for a shortcut will find a boilerplate demand letter online and tweak this document to their liking. Although this may seem like a logical way to cut corners and write an effective demand, this is never a good idea because the boilerplate letter was created without any knowledge of the facts involved in your dispute.
As we will discuss more in parts two and three, there is an art to creating a demand letter. Demand letters should be diplomatic, professional, direct, have a specific call to action, and be produced by a legal professional that understands both your contract with the owner and the rules and regulations related to your potential case. You should never take a boilerplate demand letter from the internet and think that it will be an effective document to utilize in order to seek payment.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.