A foreclosure hardship letter is an integral part of Loan Modification or Short Sale package. When homeowners are facing foreclosure, these documents are submitted to the Loss Mitigation Department of the mortgage lender. Loan modifications are offered to homeowners who have the financial ability to become current on delinquent payments. Short sales are offered to homeowners who do not have the financial means to pay their mortgage payments. Lenders who accept short sales offers agree to accept less than is owed on the mortgage note.
For most people, the foreclosure hardship letter is the most difficult aspect of loan modification or short sale procedures. It can be excruciatingly painful to express on paper the circumstances which caused the homeowner to fall behind on their mortgage payments. Many people are intimidated by the hardship letter. They don’t know what to say or how to format the letter so it is easy to read and understand.
Keep in mind, foreclosures and short sales are handled by the Loss Mitigation Department of your lender. Employees of this department are referred to as Loss Mitigators. Before you can submit a loan modification or short sale package, you must receive approval from the Loss Mitigator assigned to your account.
More than likely, you will have ample opportunities to personally speak to the Loss Mitigator handling your account. These individuals deal with homeowners in financial distress on a daily basis. Take advantage of building a relationship with your assigned mitigator and ask questions to help you better understand what your mitigator expects. Loss mitigators can make or break your deal, so always treat them with respect and provide them the information they request.
Your foreclosure hardship letter will be read by your personal loss mitigator. Realize these individuals receive dozens of hardship letters daily. Therefore, it is crucial to keep your letter short and to the point, while covering pertinent facts.
When composing your hardship letter you can either write it by hand or type it. If your handwriting is illegible, it is best to type the letter or have someone else write it for you. The foreclosure hardship letter is one of the most crucial elements of your loan modification or short sale package, so take every precaution to ensure the Loss Mitigator can easily read and understand it.
Real estate experts recommend using a business format for the foreclosure hardship letter. This involves placing your name, address, city, zip and phone number at the top of the page. Leave two spaces, then write the name of your loss mitigator, name of your mortgage lender, along with their mailing address. The next line should include the current date. Place your loan number underneath the date. The body of the letter should be between four and six paragraphs. Close the letter by signing and printing your name.
The following is an example of the foreclosure hardship letter. You can make adjustments to the text depending on if you are seeking a loan modification or short sale arrangement.
Bob and Jane Smith
123 Any Street
Your City, State 12345
123 Anywhere Avenue, Suite A
Anytown, State 12345
RE: Your Loan Number (include either Loan Modification or Short Sale)
Dear Mr. Jones,
We are contacting you today to request a (loan modification or short sale) for our property located at (insert address, city, state). We appreciate the opportunity to explain the circumstances which have caused us to fall behind on our mortgage payments. Although we have done everything possible to improve our financial situation, we are still short on the money owed to you.
The reason we have become delinquent in our mortgage payments is (explain the reason here). At this time we do not have enough income to pay our regular monthly mortgage payment. We are concerned that we are falling further behind and will not be able to pay what is owed. We have every intention of paying what is owed, but at this time do not know how to accomplish this. Therefore, we are turning to you for assistance.
We are asking for consideration to temporarily reduce or suspend our mortgage payments for a few months (or allow us to sell our home via a short sale). Doing so, would help us get back on track. Our home means a great deal to us and we desire to work with you to keep it out of foreclosure. Please advise of all options available to stop foreclosure (or initiate a short sale) at your earliest convenience. We are anxious to reach an agreement and appreciate your prompt response.
Print name of Borrower(s)
Signature of Borrower(s)
email address (if applicable)
It is imperative to send the foreclosure hardship letter via certified mail with a return receipt requested. This will ensure you have proof you sent the letter. The return receipt must be signed by someone at the lending institution and the signature card will be returned to you in the mail.