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Can a Demand Letter be Sent by Email?

Claudia Diaz - Demand Letter - September 25, 2023

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    Generally, you are not required to send a demand letter using one specific method.

    Short Answer:

    • Yes, you can email a demand letter.

    • You may be taken more seriously if you mail the demand letter as it is very formal.

    • If you later intend to sue under a very specific statute, then the statute may state whether the demand letter has to be mailed.

    In the article below, we discuss how to send a demand letter by email, factors to consider when sending a demand letter by email, and more. 

    Did you know we have a free tool powered by AI that helps you create a demand letter? Check out our demand letter tool.

    How to Send a Demand Letter by Email 

    Sending a demand letter by email is pretty straightforward. However, one of the main concerns people have about this method is how they will know the other person or business received and read their email.  

    If you are concerned about whether or not the person or business actually receives and reads your email, here are some tips: 

    • Enable “read receipts.” Some email programs have a “read receipt” feature you can enable. For example, here is a Gmail support page that illustrates how to turn on this feature if you have a Gmail account. 

    • Download a plugin or third-party extension. Search online for “read receipt” plugins that you can download to your computer. Most of these plugins or extensions are free but be careful whenever downloading something to your computer.  

    • “CC” yourself to the email. You can also include yourself as a recipient of the demand letter email. This way, you can receive an exact copy of what the other person receives. 

    Factors to Consider When Sending a Demand Letter by Email 

    Before you send your email, consider the following factors to see if this is the best option for you: 

    1. Consider to who you are sending the demand letter. Sending a demand letter by email may seem less formal than sending it by mail, for example. So if your dispute is against a business or insurance company, they may take you more seriously if you send your demand letter by mail instead of email. 

    2. Do you have the correct email address for the person or business? For example, has the person or business emailed you using that email address before? If you do end up taking legal action, the judge may ask about the demand letter you sent to confirm the other party actually received it. 

    3. Your contract may discuss a specific method you should use. If you have a contract with the other person or business, there may be a clause that discusses how to send written notices. 

    4. If you are relying on a state statute, you may be required to send written notice in a specific manner. For example, most states have consumer protection laws that require consumers to send written notices to businesses before suing them. Confirm that any law you are relying on doesn’t require a specific method of delivery. 

    Other Ways to Send a Demand Letter 

    If you find that sending a demand letter by email is not the best option in your situation, consider sending the demand letter in another way

    Here are some other methods you can use to send a demand letter: 

    1. By mail. You can send your demand letter by registered or certified mail. Some state statutes and federal acts may require that you send your demand letter using certified mail. 

    2. By text message. Depending on the relationship between you and the person you are sending the demand letter to, you can make your demands by text message. 

    3. By fax. This method is somewhat outdated at this point, as most people don’t have fax machines or ask that you send emails instead. 

    4. By hand. You can deliver your demand letter by hand. However, be careful with this method as it may be ineffective if you are trying to send the letter to a big company. 

    Do You Need to Hire a Lawyer to Send a Demand Letter?

    You do not necessarily need to hire a lawyer to send a demand letter. While a lawyer can be helpful in drafting and sending a demand letter, it is not required, and you can do it on your own.

    Learn about the pros and cons of hiring a lawyer to send a demand letter

    Next Steps After Sending a Demand Letter 

    If you haven’t received a response to your email or the response you received was inadequate, you can send a final demand letter before taking legal action. This gives the person or business more time to consider your demands (you can also tailor this second letter based on any response you did receive). 

    If you still aren’t able to resolve your dispute, at that point, consider suing in small claims court. Small claims courts empower everyday people to seek legal justice. Small claims courts are simpler and use less formal processes than other types of courts. Additionally, small claims court allows individuals to represent themselves, as opposed to hiring a lawyer.

    Small claims courts are often used to resolve some of the following disputes: 

    • Disputes over security deposits. 

    • Disputes over unpaid bills.

    • Disputes for property damage. 

    • Breach of contract disputes. 

    • Disputes over services rendered (like home repairs, car repairs, landscaping, etc.). 

    • Disputes against airlines.

    Did you know we have a free tool powered by AI that helps you create a demand letter? Check out our demand letter tool.


    Claudia Diaz

    Legal Educator @ People Clerk. Claudia holds a J.D. degree and is a certified mediator in New York and Florida. She has participated in dozens of small claims mediations in New York City courts.

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