How to Write the Second Collection Letter (Past-Due Invoice)

Writing Collection Letters

In our previous article in this series, we showed you How to Write the First Collection Letter along with a template that you can use. If you’re now thinking about how to write the second collection letter, chances are the invoice is still outstanding and your customer has not responded to the first collection letter or the courtesy reminder emails you sent before the due date.

In this article, we’ll show you how to take things up a notch and move toward getting that past-due invoice paid.

Tone of the Second Collection Letter

If you’re following the strategy we’ve outlined so far, you’ve sent two reminders before the due date (in addition to sending the original invoice) along with a collection letter after the due date.  To this point, the communication has been somewhat light because the invoice was either not yet due or barely past due and many customers simply get busy and forget to pay.

However now that the invoice is 30 days overdue, the tone of the second collection letter should be a bit more stern. The wording becomes more direct and somewhat forceful, but should always remain professional.

Second Collection Letter Template – 30 Days Past-Due

Here’s a sample of the second collection letter (also called a dunning letter) you might send to a customer when the invoice has become 30 days past-due:


Dear <Name>,

We value your business but are concerned about the status of your account.

According to our records, invoice number <Invoice_Num>, issued on <Invoice_Date> for $<Invoice_Total>, is now past due. A copy of that invoice, which was due on <Due_Date>, is included with this communication.

We’ve contacted you several times to settle this but have not seen payment.  We accept payment via check, credit card, ACH, or wire transfer.

Sincerely,

 <Signature>


Note the following in the letter sample:

  • Details including invoice number, date, and amount
  • Clearly state that the invoice is past due
  • Provide payment options and desired next steps

💡 TIP: all written communication (email or letters) sent throughout the accounts receivable and collections process should include copies of the invoice(s) in question.

We also recommend a few days after you send the second collection letter, you follow up with a call to confirm receipt, attend to any potential disputes or discrepancies the customer may have with the invoice, and try to secure a verbal commitment to pay.

A/R Collections Timing and Best Practices

Letter and email templates are a vital aspect of an automated and effective collections strategy. They allow you to standardize your approach so you can test and refine different variations of emails and letters to determine which version is most effective. 

In addition, using Accounts Receivable and Collections software like Collect-IT helps to manage all customer communication as well as standardize the timing of your reminders and collection letters/calls. In fact, here’s a cheat sheet for collections timing best practices to use as an example of a typical approach a company might use:

AR collections timeline best practices

📝UP NEXT: Be sure to check out the next article in this series:

How to Write the Third Collection Letter.

Want More Tips, Templates and Guidance Like This?

Click below to download our Ultimate Guide to AR Collections where you'll find 27 pages of expert advice, best practices, industry benchmarks, and loads of letter templates and call scripts.

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