The point of the hardship letter is for the Seller to notify their lending institution of why they can no longer make payments on their property.
There are many reasons why a Seller can no longer pay for the home they are living in.
A few examples include:
The Seller did not fully understand the type of loan they purchased the home under and the Adjustable Rate Mortgage has not increased beyond the Seller’s ability to Pay.
The Seller needs to make sure that their hardship letter is reflective of their unique situation, is truthful, and clearly identifies the reasons behind their inability to pay. Remember the hardship letter is only a piece of the the process to get a home approved for a short sale, but getting approval for a short sale helps the Seller avoid foreclosure. As time is of the essence, it is also important that your Listing Agent have past experience in representing both Buyers and Sellers in short sales, as the process is very different from a normal Buyer/Seller Transaction.
My experience has been that it is best to have the Seller complete all the paperwork for the short sale and submit it to their Lender before they receive an offer on their home. This is because it will take the lending institution several weeks at the earliest to approve or deny a short sale. Many Buyers will not stay with the property for the amount of time it will take the bank to give the Seller approval of the short sale, in part because the sale is not a sure thing at this point.
If the Seller already has approval from the bank at the time an acceptable offer is received, the wait time is for final approval is reduced to a few days instead of weeks or months. Thus the buyer will stay with the property, complete the sale, and the Seller has avoided Foreclosure.
Here is an Example Hardship Letter:
Address: (Seller Address)
Lender Name: (Seller Lender)
Loan #: (Seller Loan #)
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing this letter to explain to you the unfortunate set of circumstances that have recently occurred in our life; the result of which is my wife and I becoming delinquent on our mortgage. At this point, we have done everything in our power to pay our bills and make ends meet. Unfortunately our efforts have fallen short. As a result, we are asking you to consider working with us by modifying our loan and excepting this short sale proposal.
Our number one goal is to avoid the foreclosure of our home. We would like to have the opportunity to get our life back on track, and we would really appreciate the opportunity that you could provide us to do just that.
(At this point, state the facts that have lead you to be unable to continue to pay your mortgage. Keep it short.)
We have now exhausted all of our income and resources so we are turning to you for help. We would appreciate it you would work with us by agreeing to a Short Sale on this home.
If you agree to this course of action, we will do all we can to help our property sell in the fastest time possible at terms that are acceptable to you. We do not want our property to be foreclosed on, and we truly hope that you will consider working with us so that this matter can be resolved quickly.
Sincerely and Respectfully,