Writing a Short Sale Hardship Letter In Detail | The Treu Group

Writing a hardship letter is an important process to selling a home as a short sale and avoiding foreclosure. Your Short Sale Team gives advice on how to write a hardship letter!

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Writing a Short Sale Hardship Letter

What is a Hardship Letter?

Writing a short sale hardship letter is one of the things you will need to do if you're thinking of selling your home as a short sale.  So what is it?  A hardship letter is a formal statement written to your lender, detailing why you can no longer fulfill your mortgage payments. Within the letter, you are also requesting your lender to do a short sale on your home. The hardship letter is required to show your lender whey you can not make your payment. The reasons don’t have to be financial, strictly speaking. Your reasons can be centered on other issues like: unemployment, medical expenses, possible military service, and divorce.

How to Write a Hardship Letter

The hardship letter is just like a normal letter. There are a few simple guidelines you should follow. Address it to your mortgage lender and begin writing your body content. You should keep it simple and straight to the point. Tell the lender why you are experiencing “hardship” and how it has stopped you from making monthly payments. Once you have explained the situation, back it up with factual information. Don't make it negative and don't blame the lender.  This is a great chance to connect with the lender.  

Remember: You are convincing your bank or lender that they will lose money on your property if you go into foreclosure.

Easy Tips on Writing a Hardship Letter

  • Don't make it too long.  Keep it short (one page or less)
  • When they are done reading, let it be clear and concise. Don’t tell your life story.
  • Explain why you can’t pay the mortgage payments
  • Have it reviewed by us before your lender sees it.  Your short sale agents want to make sure we see everything that the lender sees first.  

Here's a Sample Hardship Letter:

Dear (Mortgage Lender),

We purchased our house in (date), hoping to call it home for a long time. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, we are no longer able to pay our mortgage payments.

With our family’s loss of employment (state reason), our income has dropped dramatically, leaving us unable to pay our financial dues. With our inability to find new careers, it has severely dampened our chances of renewing payments. We are trying to support our family’s needs, such as buying food, which in return, gives us no choice but to request a short sale. (Explain further why you are in a hardship and give details.) 

Enclosed, please find copies of our financial statements (include unpaid bills, tax returns, loss of income). As you can see in the documents, our home has lost 30% of the value since we bought it. The little equity we built up is no longer there. Our real estate agent has advised us that a short sale is our best course of action, and we agree.

We appreciate any effort you can make to help our family through this situation. You may contact our real estate agent (Give contact information) to discuss the current housing market in our area, and any information you may need from them concerning the sale of our home.

I, (Home owner name/co-signer name), state that the information stated above is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.


(Homeowner’s Name)

(Co-signer’s Name)


(Mortgage Account #)

The hardship letter is an important part of the short sale process.  

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Listing information last updated on September 25th, 2017 at 2:52pm EDT.