Guidelines For Preparing Collection Letters That Target Foreign Language Speaking Clients

Companies are reluctant to begin legal proceedings against foreign language speaking debtors because such actions cause resentment and unfavorable publicity, and are expensive and time consuming.  According to experience language translators, a strong, effective letter of ultimatum still can save money and goodwill.

Here are some guidelines that several Professional Boston translators have prepared for writing collection letters.

  1. Begin with the assumption that most people will pay.
  2. Use a courteous, reasonable tone, but become firmer and more demanding during the later stages of the series.
  3. Choose an appeal appropriate to the collection stage (e.g., it would be inappropriate to use resale during the urgency or ultimatum stage).
  4. Remain within the law; don’t harass.
  5. Treat delinquent accounts individually by being understanding and flexible.
  6. Send collection notices promptly and regularly.
  7. Never imply that payment can be avoided or postponed.
  8. Do not provide the debtor with excuses for non-payment.
  9. Don not backtrack to an earlier collection stage.
  10. Try to retain goodwill throughout the series.
  11. Present your evidence and stick to the facts.
  12. Stress the legality of your claim.
  13. State clearly the specific action the debtor must take.
  14. Persuade debtors of the benefits they will receive by paying.

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