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How Long Does it Take to Receive a Response to a Demand Letter?

by | Feb 4, 2023 | Demand Payment, Plaintiff | 0 comments

A demand letter is a formal request in writing asking for payment or action. It’s usually sent to a person or business that has broken a promise in a contract or not paid what they owe. A well-written demand letter is usually considered the first step in the legal process. It can be used to resolve disputes and recover money or property. A demand letter will also say how many days a person has to respond to the demand letter. For example, the letter could say that the sender will file a lawsuit if the recipient does not return the money within 14 days. But how long does it take to receive a response if the sender did not give an exact number of days in the letter?

The answer to this question depends on many things. These include whether the person getting the letter wants to work together and how complicated the problem is. Sometimes, you may receive a response to a demand letter within a few days. On other occasions, it may take a few weeks or even longer.

Factors that Impact Response Time

Recipient’s Willingness to Cooperate

One of the initial things to consider is if the person receiving the letter wants to work together. They might answer fast if they want to solve the problem and agree with what the letter asks. But if they don’t want to cooperate or disagree with what the letter asks, it might take more time to get a response.

Case Complexity

Another thing that matters is how complicated the problem is. If the argument is easy to understand, like just arguing about money, you might get an answer quickly. But it might take longer for the person to reply if it’s more complicated, like disagreeing about what a contract says. They might need extra time to think about it and decide what to do.

Mode of Communication

Sending a demand letter via certified mail or registered mail (recommended method)) might mean a bit more time to get a response. This is because the person getting the letter must sign for it, which takes a few extra days. Also, if you’re sending the letter to a business, it could take longer to hear back. That’s because the letter might need to be checked by a legal team or other parts of the company before they reply.

Response Requirements

A demand letter does not always require a written response. Sometimes a simple phone call or email can resolve the issue. However, requiring a written response is an excellent way to keep a record of what the other side’s response was, which may become important to show as evidence if you end up in court.

In conclusion, a strong demand letter can be a useful tool for resolving disputes and recovering money or property. Ideally, the demand letter will state the exact number of days for a response. If the letter does not include a deadline, receiving a reply to a demand letter can vary greatly depending on various factors, including the recipient’s willingness to cooperate, the complexity of the issue, and the mode of communication used. It can take a few days or several weeks, or longer. 


The quest for justice is never easy, particularly when it comes to getting your money back. However, thanks to advances in technology, it has become easier. Quest for Justice’s first app, JusticeDirect, is the only app of its kind designed to support people without lawyers to resolve their disputes and get their money back, both in and out of court. The first step to getting money back is through a letter demanding payment from the other party JusticeDirect offers customizable demand letters for free. If the letter demanding payment does not work, then the next step is taking them to court. JusticeDirect* will guide users every step of the way through the small claims court process by helping them:


  1. Understand the legal process;
  2. Evaluate the pros and cons that come with taking someone to court;
  3. Generate small claims court forms; and,
  4. Avoid common mistakes when filing your forms and serving notice on the other side.
*Currently, JusticeDirect can only help litigants sue in California’s small claims court.

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