Reading Time
10 min.

How to draft and send payment reminders? Tips + free examples

Drafting and sending payment reminders

With a payment reminder you remind your customer that there is an overdue invoice. Your communication will once again inform your customer, that payment is still to be made and remind them of their contractual obligations.

The tone of a payment reminder is usually friendly. There may be a genuine reason why your customer hasn’t paid. For example, they may have actually paid already but the payment has not yet registered in your account. Or your invoice has not arrived correctly for a certain reason therefore your customer is not aware of an outstanding invoice.

Sending a formal letter immediately, full of legal terms, is not necessary. We advise you to always send a friendly payment reminder first. In this way, the relationship with your customer remains good, because of course the outstanding payment may just be a mistake.

When is the best time to send a payment reminder?

You should send a payment reminder immediately after the due date of the invoice. This will show that you have an efficient accounts receivable management process and that you take your financial administration seriously. Moreover, there may also be a misunderstanding on the part of your debtor. It is better to act quickly and not leave it too long before you take action.

The advantages of a Bierens Debt Recovery Lawyer

  • Succesfully recovering debt since 1952
  • Always honest and clear advice
  • Specialist laywers in international debt recovery
  • Every year we collect thousands of outstanding invoices

How many payment reminders should you send?

This is different for each situation. If your debtor is a business customer, there are usually no rules for sending payment reminders. In principle, you can transfer a receivable directly for collection if it is not paid within the agreed payment term. We just do not recommend this. It is best to always call your debtor first and send a friendly payment reminder.  This way you can keep your business relationship intact.

Has your payment reminder had no effect? Then you should send a final reminder to your debtor stating that you are handing over the claim to a debt collection agency if it still isn’t paid on time. In addition, state that the costs incurred in this respect will be charged to the debtor.

Tip: do not send a first or second payment reminder!

You can send your customer several payment reminders, but don’t communicate this to your customer. As soon as you put 'first payment reminder' or 'second payment reminder' on the letter, it is clear to the debtor that more will follow. Why else put 'first payment reminder' on the letter? For many debtors, this is a reason not to pay immediately. It suggests to the debtor that they will have more time to pay and that the debt collection process has not started.

Therefore, make sure that you only include the word 'payment reminder' on the letter. This will prevent debtors from not taking you seriously and waiting for the next letter before they take action.

What must be included in a payment reminder?

The purpose of the payment reminder is to ensure that your debtor is aware of the outstanding debt and that they still need to pay. A clear letter is therefore very important. In this way, your debtor knows exactly what will happen should the debt not be paid. This increases the chance of payment. You should therefore include the following elements in your letter:

Let them know that payment has not yet been made

It must be clear to the reader what the purpose of the payment reminder is: there is an outstanding claim and it must be paid as soon as possible.

Refer to the unpaid invoice

A clear payment reminder specifies which outstanding invoice is involved. It should also state what products or services have been delivered, the invoice number and the due date of the invoice. The clearer the payment reminder, the more likely it is that your debtor will pay the invoice quickly. After all, it saves a lot of research if your debtor knows which invoice has not yet been paid.

Communicate all outstanding costs

You also need to inform the debtor of the outstanding amount. In addition to the outstanding invoice amount, you also need to communicate any additional costs that have been incurred, such as interest and debt collection costs. These need to be clearly detailed on the invoice so the debtor understands how much they need to pay.

Which account should the money be transferred to?

Again: make it easy for your customer to pay your invoice. State which account number the money needs to be transferred to.

Specify a concrete payment term

Let your debtor know when the outstanding amount has to be paid. It is important to be as concrete as possible. You should indicate a specific date instead of "payment within 7 days", this removes any ambiguity for your debtor. For business debtors, we advise you to stick to a payment term of 5 days, but of course you are free to use a longer or shorter term if you so wish to. You should also check what term is normally used in the country of your debtor.

Make an impression with an original, creative payment reminder!

Clear payment reminders usually ensure that payments are made quickly. Would you like to impress your debtor a little more? Send an original or creative payment reminder. This will make your payment reminder stand out even more! Whether it also has the desired effect, we couldn’t possibly say, but your customer will undoubtedly appreciate it and remember it.

Read more: 3 special payment reminders for unpaid invoices

Send us your case before 16:00pm and we'll get to work immediately!

Should you send a payment reminder by registered mail or e-mail?

A payment reminder is not a legal document, so you can choose how you want to send a reminder. In fact, you don't even have to send a payment reminder in writing, it's also fine to do this by phone. The disadvantage is that you have no proof of it.

When you send the payment reminder in writing, this can be done by e-mail or by registered mail. If you send a registered letter, you can be sure that your invoice has been received. However, it is no longer customary to send the letter by post, as a lot of communication nowadays takes place by e-mail. So, you can also send the payment reminder to your customer by e-mail, or even via WhatsApp.

Payment reminder costs

For unpaid invoices, you can charge debt collection costs. Our advice, however, is not to charge collection costs when sending your first payment reminder. Only do this when you send the final reminder.

Sending a payment reminder in English

Do you conduct international business? Then it makes no sense to send your foreign debtor a payment reminder in your own language. There is very little chance that your debtor will pay if they don’t even understand the letter. Therefore, always try to send a payment reminder in the language in which you communicate with your debtor. However, if you can send a payment reminder in the language of your debtor, this is even better and will give you a greater chance of getting your invoice paid. To help you get started with this, we have provided an example of a payment reminder letter in the English language.

Specialists in International Debt Collection

Our 35 international lawyers are specialists in debt collection across Europe. From the moment that you hand your case over to us, we will do our utmost to resolve the matter as soon as possible. Whether this concerns a straightforward debt recovery matter or a complicated legal conflict, we will unburden you.

Want to know more about international debt collection?

You can find more comprehensive information about international debt collection in our knowledge bank.

Still in need of some advice? Contact us today. Our international debt collection specialists and lawyers will be happy to help.

Advice without obligation?

Yes, I agree with the Privacy statement

Our Clients

We work for SMEs and Large Corporations.

Reading Time
10 min.

International Debt Collection

When you have an international debt collection matter, you are confronted with a different language, culture and legislation. Moreover, the local custom concerning payment may not be what you are used to. This tends to make international debt collection a complex matter. As a debt recovery law firm, we have more than 60 years of knowledge and experience to assist you with all your international debt collection matters.

International debt collection

Do you have an international debtor?

In Europe, we work with specific teams per country which can assist you with your international debt collection. The international debt recovery lawyers at Bierens have specialist knowledge and experience at their fingertips to provide you with the best possible assistance when you are dealing with an international debtor.

The Best International Debt Collectors

When you’re looking for a debt collection agency or law firm, you want to be sure they have the best resources at their disposal. However, there is always the concern that the best probably means the most expensive.
At Bierens, we have the best debt collectors, specialists and lawyers. But don’t just take our word for it. Our customers have given us a 9/10 rating on Kiyoh. And as for the costs, we believe in justice and fairness. That’s why we offer No Cure, No Pay so you don’t end up with a huge bill and a disappointing outcome.

Read more about what our customers say about us.

“Bierens and its team of international lawyers understand the needs of companies and can adapt to any situation.”

Lea Macedoni / Alessi

kiezewn

Why choose our international debt collection agency?

1. Lawyers from 20 of Europe's largest economies

Do you have an outstanding invoice with your European business partner? Our firm employs more than 60 in-house European debt recovery lawyers and specialists, who can assist you in getting your invoice paid.

2. Knowledge of local legislation and commercial customs

Our international debt recovery lawyers have extensive experience with and knowledge of the legislation, regulations, commercial customs and culture in the country of your debtor. That makes it easier for us to engage with your debtor and encourage them to pay more swiftly.

3. Honest advice

We will always give our honest advice on the chances of success in your debt recovery matter. Putting your interests first is important to us; we endeavour to provide you with your options, as well as our advice on the best route to take. It’s easy to see how we put our core values of integrity and justice into practice.

4. Fast debt recovery

We understand that you want your claim dealt with quickly. If you submit your debt recovery claim to us by 16:00pm CET, we will start handling your case that same day. Your debtor will only be given a few days to effect payment. We’re on top of it!

5. An international debt collection lawyer strengthens your position

As lawyers, we are able to put more pressure on your debtor than, for example, a debt recovery agency or a bailiff. Furthermore, we can assist you during the extrajudicial collection stage and also the judicial stage. This saves you time and money.

6. Customised international debt collection

Our commercial debt recovery approach is customised to each unique case, and we provide you with tailor-made advice.

We are experts in international debt collection

  • Since 1952
  • International expertise
  • Specialst laywers in international debt recovery
  • Every year we collect thousands of outstanding invoices
Send us your case before 16:00pm and we'll get to work immediately!

No cure, no pay international debt collection

An outstanding debt is burden enough, let alone having to pay costs to get your money paid. We don’t believe this is fair. That’s why we operate on a No Cure, No Pay basis. This means that if we don’t collect your money during the pre-legal phase, you will not pay a heavy price. You will only pay a small amount of basic costs.

Find out more about our No Cure, No Pay policy

How does international debt collection work?

Although collecting debt abroad can be more challenging than when dealing with a national collection case, with a specialist debt collector, you can still get your money back.

But how does it work? Well, that depends completely on the country of your debtor. The process can be very different and is also dependent on the complexity of the case. For example, for an undisputed case where your debtor agrees with your invoice but simply hasn’t paid, you can use the European Order for Payment. This process can be used if you and your debtor reside in any member state of the European Union, excluding Denmark. If your invoice is disputed however, or if your debtor doesn’t accept your claim, then this process can no longer be used.
In this case, you will need to litigate abroad, ideally for the best results, in the country of your debtor. An international debt collection lawyer can help you with this process. They have knowledge of your debtor’s country’s laws and can communicate in your debtor’s native language.

Read more>> How does international debt collection work?

“Bierens are specialists in the field of business-to-business debt recovery. Their approach stands for quality, decisiveness, and results, which is exactly what KLM is looking for.”

Ben Blad / KLM

International Debt Collection Laws

There is no-one overriding international debt collection law or rule book. In Europe, the process for recovering debt is very differing depending on the country of your debtor. This means that the process for getting your outstanding debt paid is likely to be very different to what you are used to in your country.

However, this shouldn’t put you off trying to collect your debt from your international debtor. With an international debt collection lawyer, you can strengthen your position. Understanding the laws of your debtor’s country and being able to communicate with your debtor in their own language, means you are more likely to get your outstanding invoice paid.

And should your debtor dispute your invoice, we can take them to court in their own country to get your money back.

Read more: International Debt Collection Laws

Advice without obligation?

Yes, I agree with the Privacy statement

Specialists in International Debt Collection

Our 35 international lawyers are specialists in debt collection across Europe. From the moment that you hand your case over to us, we will do our utmost to resolve the matter as soon as possible. Whether this concerns a straightforward debt recovery matter or a complicated legal conflict, we will unburden you.

Want to know more about international debt collection?

You can find more comprehensive information about international debt collection in our knowledge bank.

Still in need of some advice? Give us a call today. Our international debt collection specialists and lawyers will be happy to help.

Yes, I agree with the Privacy statement

Other business conflicts

Our Clients

We work for SMEs and Large Corporations.