These documents don’t have to be long or complicated. However, it’s essential that they include a few basic elements so that the terms can be understood and interpreted by anyone who reads them.
Sometimes called a promissory note or an installment agreement, a Payment Agreement letter defines a transaction between at least two parties. Such agreements are common between companies that are agreeing to exchange money for goods or services. These documents also may be utilized by insurance companies who ask customers to agree to certain payment terms.
Payment agreements may also be arranged between private parties. Friends, family members and colleagues may all use these documents to help ensure fair dealings when loaning or accepting money.
The Payment Agreement protects each party in various ways. It clearly defines what the transaction is, such as a loan between friends. It identifies the parties and how much money is involved.
It further delineates how and when the money will be paid back. For instance, the party loaning the money may require that the borrower pay them back with a cashier’s check while prohibiting the use of a personal check.
Moreover, the agreement may define what sort of penalty is involved if the money is not paid back as agreed upon. Interest rates are not always a part of these agreements. If the borrower will be required to pay interest, then this should be defined in the agreement, including how the interest will be calculated.
It is strongly recommended that the agreement be notarized or at least witnessed and signed by an impartial third party. This makes the agreement easier to defend in court, and makes it less likely that the document will be tampered with later. Each party to the agreement should receive a fully-executed copy for their files.
Well-Defined Payment Plan?
This level of detail is necessary for the protection of both parties because it makes it far less likely that disputes will arise. The promisor, the party borrowing the money, receives the assurance that the payee, the party loaning the money, will not claim that the loan was actually for a much larger amount.
Moreover, the written agreement makes it possible for the payee to prove that the promisor had a well-defined payment plan and that they did not comply with the schedule. Accordingly, it is less likely that litigation will arise from a dispute, and if litigation does occur, then the agreement may be what the court relies upon to make a decision.
A single page document is all that is required to make a binding Payment Agreement Letter. The following example is a template that can be easily customized to suit a variety of transactions.
Sample Payment Agreement Letter
Full, legal name of Payee
Full, legal name of Promisor
Total Amount of Loan
Final Due Date for Repayment
I, Payee Name (“Payee”), borrowed $1,000 from Promisor Name (“Promisor”) on Loan Date. By signing this agreement both Payee and Promisor acknowledge that Payee will pay back Promisor using the following payment schedule.
Payee agrees to repay Promisor with a personal check for $100 on the first of each month for 10 months beginning with January 1, 20__. The last payment will be made October 1, 20__, at which time the loan will be fully repaid.
Payee further agrees to pay a $35 per week late charge for every week that payment is delayed after the first of the month. This $35 late charge may be prorated as a $5 per day charge for each day that the payment is late for segments of time shorter than seven days.
Both Payee and Promisor agree to the payment agreement defined above.
Signature of Payee with Date
Signature of Promisor with Date
Signature of Witness or Notary with Date
By Andre Bradley