Correspondence

Sample Letter Strategies

Collection letters are a basic ingredient in a good collection strategy. Collection strategies are commonly designed based on the type and age of the account being collected, the type of government agency sending the letter, and how it is being distributed to the customer.  Strategies can range from simple to extraordinarily complex, computer-driven processes but all collection offices use some form of a strategy. 

For example, debtors are often of the mentality that, “If I don’t get a bill in the mail, I don’t remember to pay it”.  In this case, a typical strategy might involve a monthly statement followed by a reminder notice when the bill has not been paid.  If the bill remains unpaid, perhaps a collector follows up with a phone call and then a more stern collection notice.

The following strategies are used throughout State and Local Government in the United States. Each strategy was created with the hope of collecting the debt using written correspondence as a tool. 

Standard collection series:

  • An initial collection letter is sent upon receipt of the debt from the outlying department.  The first letter is generally a “friendly reminder” that the debt has not been paid and asks for payment in full within a specified period of time.
  • A collector makes an outbound call to the debtor.
  • Collection letters and additional calls follow if there is no response from the debtor.  The number of letters in the series generally depends on the type of debt.  The tone of the letters should always become more serious from letter to letter.
  • A decision is made on the next course of action which might include continued in-house collection efforts, legal action, outsourcing to an agency, or write-off.

There are many sample strategies in our repository for our members. If you would like to have access to the rest of the library so you can see and copy different samples strategies and also receive many other valuable benefits, click here.


If you have a collection strategy that involves the use of correspondence and you feel it would be helpful to others, please attach the items to an e-mail and send them to info@govcollect.org. Please let us know your specific success with them by providing answers to the following in your e-mail:

  • What is the name of your organization?
  • What types of debts are collected using this strategy?
  • One paragraph summary of the overall strategy.
  • Why do you think this strategy is effective?
  • The financial/collection success you have seen because of this strategy.
  • How many correspondence pieces are in the strategy?
  • Is there any government ordinance regulating this strategy and if so, what are the highlights of the ordinance?

Providing this information with each strategy will assist our users in assessing the possible value to their organization. 

NOTE:  Please be aware that your submission is posted on our site with the intention that all or part of the document will be copied and used by other government agencies that are members of the Government Revenue Collection Assocation. Please do not submit any proprietary documents that cannot be shared amongst our users.