A letter of hardship is a statement written by a debtor that main goal is to convince a bank or mortgage institution to agree to a short sale of an asset or property. A short sale is the sale of an asset or property for less than the value of mortgage or loan. This sale is a settlement between the debtor and the financial institution that allows the bank to recoup some financial losses associated with bad or defaulted loans. A short sale also allows the debtor to avoid imminent foreclosure. In order to apply for these short sales, the debtor must convince the banking institution of his or her inability to repay the loan or debt. This statement is often made in a letter of hardship.

When writing a letter of hardship, it is important to remember that the primary point of the letter is to convince the financial institution that the debtor, due to certain issues, is not likely to repay the outstanding loan. If the banking institution is properly convinced that the debtor will default on the outstanding loan or mortgage, then they may decide to agree to a short sale of the property or asset. A letter of hardship should be detailed and personal. It should describe the debtor’s current financial situation, listing current income, other loan obligations, and any potential collateral available. The letter should also attempt to explain why the debtor will likely not be able to repay the loan obligation. Remember that the individuals who will decide whether or not to issue a short sale are human. They will be more likely to issue a short sale if the debtor has incurred unforeseen debt or expenses. This unforeseen debt could be related to a death in the family, personal health problems, or any other reason that has led to the unexpected financial stress. The debtor should be honest in a letter of hardship and stress the exact reasons why he or she has fallen behind on their mortgage or loan payments.

It is estimated that loan officers receive forty to fifty applications for a short sale per a day. Less than one short sale is approved for every ten applied for. Oftentimes, a letter of hardship is what separates an approved short sale application from those applications that are denied. The letter should be truthful and personal. There are many real estate companies that offer to write a letter of hardship as part of a short sale package. While these packages are often very professional and the experience of qualified real estate agents is helpful and reassuring, a letter of hardship should only be written by the debtor. This letter should be short, usually under one page. However, there are no set rules. A compelling letter of hardship can often run two or even three pages. The debtor should try to resist the urge to list a set of excuses for his or her current financial situation. Instead, the debtor should focus on concrete reasons for why they have fallen behind on their mortgage or loan payments. Acceptable reasons for falling behind may include the death of a wage earner, unexpected health costs, or the loss of a job. Try to avoid any mention of any unexpected legal fees associated with a criminal defense or personal lawsuit as a reason for the failure to repay a loan or mortgage.