While no one wants to be in a financial situation that could threaten their home, it’s crucial to know what options are out there—namely, the short sale, which exists as an emergency exit for homeowners who can no longer make payments. It’s a way to alleviate debt and move out without the grief of a foreclosure. However, before anyone can utilize a short sale, they must first give notice of their situation via a letter. We are happy to present a quick guide to writing a short sale hardship letter for those unsure how to proceed with this step.


Meeting Basic Qualifications

We can’t overstate that a short sale will only occur out of necessity. It isn’t a means to release a mortgage early or escape a debt unless it’s the final step. As such, the information you convey in the letter will reinforce the necessity to the lender. When you understand short sale basics, you realize that they can only occur under certain circumstances. For example, the loss of a job, a job transfer, reduction in wages or hours, divorce, a natural disaster, and so on count as sufficient circumstances.


The Essential Layout

A quick guide to writing a short sale hardship letter is to think of it more like a brief one-page essay. It’s a letter only in the sense that it serves as a paper trail document, but it’s not a letter in the same sense as personal correspondence. Each hardship letter should contain an intro, body, and ending paragraph like any formal paper.

Additionally, the letter should contain accurate contact information. The intro should be short and sweet, such as a single sentence stating that the letter is intended to propose a short sale. The body must then go into why specifically you are asking for the short sale. Explain just the essential facts of what financial or personal issues have brought you to this decision. The conclusion can also be very brief to point out that a short sale is the best option for everyone involved.


What To Avoid

The most important thing to remember is that this letter serves as a formal notice to financial professionals. It’s not a place for opinion, personal grievances, or complaints. It should only clearly and concisely state the essential information. The letter needs to state why a short sale should occur and be as brief as possible while conveying the necessary information.

Never take the time to explain the personal dramas behind hardships or stop to express the emotions you experience because of them. The professionals reading the letter only want to know if it makes sense for them to accept the short sale—any other details are likely to work against you.