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Write Strong Hardship Letters for Short Sales



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By : Lauren Kline    99 or more times read
When homeowners are faced with selling their homes on short notice to avoid foreclosure, their first task is to write a hardship letter to the lender. While this is a very emotional time for most people, getting all the facts is what the banker or lending professional is concerned about. They realize that your decision to sell your home at a loss was not an easy one, but they need concrete reasons why they should participate in the short sale process. While writing, keep the emotions out of it. After all, it's just business, as Mr. Trump would say.

There are several variations on styles of hardship letters, but at the very least, the content should contain some basic information. It can be hand written or typed, but it should be as professional as possible. If you have reached this unfortunate position, here are some steps to help guide you through the sometimes overwhelming process:

  1. Find the name of the exact person at your bank or lender's office that handles short sales. This means the actual person that makes the decisions, not the administrative assistant that will forward your letter to the appropriate person, when he/she is available. Direct contact is best from the start.

  2. At the top of the letter, include the lender's (company) name, address, phone and fax number. Also include the current date you are writing the request.

  3. Start the letter to the person who makes the decisions (that you discovered through Step 1)

  4. State the content of the letter, i.e. Re: Hardship letter - Short Sale for (your address). Add your name and the loan number.

  5. Explain the course of events that have lead to your request for the Short Sale approval. Have you lost your job? Do you have to move to another state on short notice? Are you going through a divorce? Do you have medical bills that are overwhelming? Were you laid off and as a result, your income has dropped several hundred or thousand dollars per month? Take as much time as you can to clearly state this part of your request. Your reasons must speak directly to why you are unable to pay your mortgage.

  6. Let your lender know that you have consulted a realtor, or a lawyer, for advice on how to avoid foreclosure. You were told that the only options would be to sell your home at a loss with the Short Sale, or file for bankruptcy.

  7. Ask for permission to proceed with the Short Sale at the earliest possible date.

Be prepared for the answer “no”. Not all short sale requests are granted. You may have enough equity in the home that a very small profit may be realized, or the loss would not be unmanageable if you sold your home through regular channels.
Begin your search for Montgomery County MD real estate at LaurenKlineRealEstate.com. Her team will help you find the perfect Adams Morgan DC real estate.

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