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Hardship letter: What is it and how to write it?

Author: kpatrick Post Date: 12th Feb, 2008 11:07 am Post Subject: Hardship letter: What is it and how to write it?
If you've fallen behind on your mortgage and need a workout from the lender, you should send them a hardship letter. A financial hardship letter is a letter that explains why you're in default, what you have done in order to correct the default, and the workout plan you are interested in.

What a hardship letter should include ...


If you are trying to get a workout from your lender, you should include the following in your hardship letter:
  1. Your contact information including your name, address, and account number.
  2. Mention what kind of hardship you're experiencing and the possible reasons for it.
  3. State when the hardship began.
  4. Give a brief overview of your income and expenses. Tell the lender that you're
    expecting a change in your income. Also inform the lender about any money you have saved to compensate for the default.
  5. Give a brief explanation of the workout plan you are interested in and state the reasons why you think it may work for you.
  6. Include how your credit counselor (if you have one to help you negotiate) can be contacted.

Apart from the above, while writing a real estate hardship letter you should provide a statement of your income, expenses, and financial statements to prove your
assets and liabilities. The type of information you should include are tax returns for the previous years, current pay stubs, etc. If you're trying to sell your home then you'll have to provide a copy of the realtor agreement along with the hardship letter. To get an idea how to write such a letter, check out a sample hardship letter.

Types of hardship that the lender may accept...


Here's a list of reasons why your hardship letter may be accepted by lenders.
  1. Loss of employment
  2. Medical problems that prevented you from working
  3. Reduction in salary
  4. You may be a single parent with a low income and you are not receiving child support
  5. You're a victim of some disaster
  6. Death of spouse or co-borrower
  7. Marital separation or divorce

Types of hardship lenders may not accept...


Your hardship letter may be rejected due to the following reasons:
  1. You're a student and cannot pay off the mortgage
  2. You're going through a divorce
  3. Your spouse has threatened to file bankruptcy

Usually mortgage lenders won't consider a workout plan such as forbearance, loan modification, short sale or foreclosure or a short sale without a proper explanation of your hardship. So, while writing a real estate hardship letter, you should provide a factual explanation of your financial situation. The hardship letter shouldn't criticize the lender or any other party involved in the mortgage transaction. It should simply state why you cannot follow the terms of the mortgage agreement along with a request for a workout plan.
Posted on: 12th Feb, 2008 11:07 am
my mortgage is with chase and i have ask for a loan mdification. i have to submitt a hardship letter and i need help writing it. i can not afford the payment as it is because of health problems. my income is much lower now and i am on disability. i can't refinance because i don't qualify. i am not currently latebut i don't know if i can make march's payment. they told me to continue to "make the payments" and that this could take up to 90 days. i don't know how i am going to make the payments and i don't want to be late. what do i need to include to make sure this letter gets me the rate reduction that i need?
Hi Vickie,

Welcome to the forum!

A hardship letter is nothing more than you sitting down and elaborating on your situation, in detail. I know in the beginning, it may seem like a difficult thing to do, but just sit down and start typing the story, and after you get started, it isn't as difficult as you think. Here are some guidelines that you can use:

You must explain why you have gotten behind and why you cannot afford your payments. You must be very specific as to the dates of the Hardship.

Use this guide to give you some ideas...



The key with a hardship letter is to be very detailed in the fact that you have tried everything you know to do...the challenge is, most lenders will not make adjustments to the mortgage if you aren't already behind in the payments. I know this sounds strange, but it is just how it is.

I hope this helps, and good luck to you!
Posted on: 12th Feb, 2008 02:29 pm
Thanks for the reply. I have submitted my letter along with tax returns pay stubs, bank statements and a budget. I have not yet missed a payment but I do not have the money to make the next one due. Will they wait until things get that bad before they help? Do they charge a fee to do this?
Posted on: 18th Feb, 2008 03:07 pm
Hi Vickiesmith,

Welcome back.

It's good that you've submitted the letter. The sooner you do so, the better. Well, I really don't know whether they will wait; this will totally depend upon the lender and I suppose he'll charge a fee if he's doing a loan modification. How long is it before the lender is likely to respond back to you?

Thanks
Posted on: 18th Feb, 2008 11:09 pm
I'm not sure, theperson that took my request for the modification said it would take 60 to 90 days and for me to continue making the payment which I can't. I have no income as I have been dignosed with a rare blood disorder in which there is no cure and prevents me from working. We are having to live off of my husbands income which is a big change for us. I hope they will let me keep my house. If they modify it to a 5-6%interest rate we could afford it.

Thanks
Posted on: 19th Feb, 2008 06:15 am
i think you need to kick your request up a notch, vickie. it seems that the individual you have been dealing with so far has failed to grasp the critical nature of your situation.

do not wait for them to contact you....can i say that again? DO NOT WAIT FOR THEM TO CONTACT YOU. okay...i will relax now.

you need to persuade them, cajole them, convince them that this is a very critical situation and that waiting 60-90 days is not an option for you. perhaps you need someone to assist you in this endeavor. do you have legal counsel who can act on your behalf?

no matter what, please try to contact a supervisor of the person with whom you have been speaking so that you can impress upon that person the immediacy.
Posted on: 19th Feb, 2008 10:56 am
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