How To Write an Overdue Invoice Letter
Contractors, freelancers and other professionals use invoices to request payment and send details about financial transactions. If you're working on a contract basis, you might encounter a client who misses the due date for an invoice. Because of this, it's beneficial to know how to send an overdue invoice letter to receive the compensation you're owed. In this article, we discuss what an overdue invoice letter is and share steps and tips to help you write and send overdue invoice letters to your clients.
What is an overdue invoice letter?
An overdue invoice letter is a type of email that professionals send to remind a client of a past due payment. You may need to send an overdue invoice letter if you work on a contract or freelance basis. Professionals usually send overdue invoice letters in the form of emails, but you may also send a physical letter or call your client instead of writing a letter. Emails are typically faster and provide documentation of the overdue payment.
How to write an overdue invoice letter
Follow these steps in order to write and send an overdue invoice letter:
1. State your reason for contacting them
Start your letter by addressing them by name and with a polite greeting. Then, clearly state why you're contacting them. When informing clients of upcoming or overdue payments, consider using professional and friendly language. Try to use phrasing that frames you, the invoice or the overdue payment as the subject of the sentence, not the client. For example, you could write something like this:
I'm writing to inform you I have yet to receive the payment for my last invoice.
Using this phrasing can help ensure the client doesn't feel defensive or embarrassed about the late payment, as they might if you use phrasing that places blame on them.
2. Provide specific details about the invoice
Be sure to include specific details about the invoice, as your client may need a reminder. Consider including the invoice number, the date you originally sent it and the due date for the invoice. Providing this information can help your clients search their records and shares proof of the overdue payment.
Related: How To Write an Invoice in 9 Steps
3. Offer to resend the invoice
It's helpful to offer to resend the invoice in case your client has misplaced the original copy. You can also include the invoice and reference it. This may save you time and effort, as you don't need to send an additional reply if the client wants the invoice. Whichever method you choose to use, be sure to send the invoice as a PDF file so the client can view it properly.
4. Add your availability to answer questions
Consider ending your letter by expressing your availability to answer questions or discuss the invoice. You can also mention that you may follow up with a phone call later. This ensures your client that you're available and willing to speak about any issues they may have with the invoice. It can also help increase the likelihood that they pay the invoice soon, as you're establishing that you're taking notice of the late payment and are taking action to receive it.
Consider writing something like:
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about this invoice. I'll reach out via a phone call next week if I don't hear from you.
Then, you can close your letter with a professional salutation and sign your name.
Overdue invoice letter template
To help you write your own overdue invoice letter, consider this template:
Hello [Client name],
[Inform them of the overdue payment.] [Use this sentence to provide additional details about the invoice, or combine this sentence with the first.] [Consider referencing the invoice here and attaching it to the end of your email.]
[Offer availability to speak about the invoice.] [Mention the possibility of a follow-up phone call, if you're interested.]
Overdue invoice letter example
Here's an example of letters that regard the payment date of an invoice:
Overdue invoice that's 1 week late
Here's an example of an overdue invoice letter concerning a payment that is slightly past its deadline:
I'm writing to inform you I haven't received payment for invoice number 336, which was due last week. I originally sent the invoice on March 26, and the total amount of $2,000.00 was due on Wednesday of last week. I'll attach a copy of this invoice below in case you need to update your records.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this invoice. I'll call you next week if I don't hear from you to ensure this email reaches you. Thank you for your time!
Invoice letter for the same day as the deadline
For some clients, it may be helpful to send a payment reminder on the day of your invoice's payment date. Here's an example of a letter that reminds a client of the due date:
I'm writing to remind you that the payment for your account's invoice is due today. For your convenience, I'll attach a copy of this invoice, below, in case you need to update your records. The total balance of invoice number 46 is $900.00.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this invoice. If the payment is already on its way, please disregard this email. Thank you for your time!
Overdue invoice that's 3 weeks past due
Here is an example of a letter that addresses an invoice that is three weeks overdue:
I'm writing to inform you that I have not received payment for invoice number 66, which was due three weeks ago. I originally sent the invoice on August 13, and the total amount of $5,000 was due on August 30, 2021. I'll attach a copy of this invoice below in case you need to update your records.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this invoice. Just as a reminder, I collect 3% interest for each day the invoice payment is overdue, starting 30 days after its due date. I'll call next week if I don't hear from you to ensure this email reaches you. Thank you for your time!
Tips for writing an overdue invoice letter
When writing and sending an overdue invoice letter, consider these tips:
Send it in a timely manner
Try to send your overdue invoice letter in a timely manner to increase your chances of settling the payment. Consider sending an email to remind your client of the payment a few days before the due date. If they still miss the payment deadline, send a polite email the next day. It's important to be persistent with your efforts, so you may need to send more than one email if the client doesn't pay the invoice after the first email.
Remind the client of your late payment policies
If more than a week has passed without your client paying the invoice, you may want to mention your late payment policies, if you have them, in your overdue invoice letter. Establishing late payment policies in your contract when you begin working with a client is a helpful method to ensure you're paid for your services. Some contractors and small business owners charge an interest rate on late payments, which motivates clients to pay invoices on time.
Change your tone depending on the time frame
Remember to keep your tone polite and professional when reminding clients of late payments. This can show your respect for them and ensure that you can continue a business relationship. Though, you might want to change your tone depending on the time frame of the late payment. For payments that are under two weeks late, consider keeping a friendly tone. If your client still doesn't pay the invoice or respond to your emails, you may want to use a firmer tone in your email.
Provide online payment options
It can be helpful to provide different payment options for your clients to create a more accessible transaction. Try to establish the payment methods you accept on your invoice to ensure clients know how they can pay you. Accepting payments online can also ensure there are fewer delays in payment, as there may be if your client has to send a check using the postal service.
Follow up via phone
Speaking to your client on the phone may be more convincing than an email. Consider calling your clients if they don't respond to your initial emails. You also can offer to let your clients call you if they need to discuss the invoice details or payment options.
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