Writing A Hardship Letter For Your Short Sale

Stating Your Case:

The hardship letter is not just a required form for the short sale process, this is your opportunity to make your case to the lender as to why they should approve you for the short sale. This letter will get reviewed by the negotiator at the bank, as well as the investors that make the decision on whether or not they will accept less than what they are owed for the sale of your property.

What To Include:

The letter can be either typed or handwritten, but if it is handwritten make sure it is easily legible as it will be either scanned and email or faxed to the bank for review. Below is a list of key items you should include in the short sale:

  • Date – The bank will require the letter to be dated, and if the process of approval takes longer than 90 days, they may request an updated hardship letter (typically we just need a new date).
  • Short summary of when you purchased the home – set the mood of how happy you were to purchase the home, that you had great circumstances, and that you love your home.
  • Reason for defaulting on the loan – Let the bank now what changed in your life after you purchased your home. Common changes are loss of employment, divorce, death in the family, unexpected illness and medical bills.
  • Show Remorse – close with a statement about how you wish you were able to keep your home, and what the impacts of moving will be such as having to rent instead of own, not being in as nice of an area, the increase in commute to work, if you are moving in with family, etc…

What NOT To Include:

  • Don’t write the letter in an angry or complaining manner.
  • Don’t tell the bank that it is their fault.
  • Don’t make any threats in the letter.
  • Don’t compare your situation with someone else’s situation.
  • Don’t reference another person’s transaction if they were able to get approved for a short sale.
  • Don’t include any false information.


You will have to provide supporting documentation for anything you include in your hardship letter to be approved for the short sale. You will need to submit your most recent pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, and proof of your hardship (divorce decree, death certificate, letter regarding termination of employment, etc…).

For More Information:

Please contact our office by calling 661-402-1250, or sending one of us an email so that we can answer any questions that you may have regarding the hardship letter or other aspects of the short sale process.