One of the items your lender or servicer will ask for during the loan workout or loan modification process is a hardship letter. A hardship letter is a written explanation as to what “event” has caused you to fall behind on your mortgage and it vital in helping you stop foreclosure.
This letter acts much like an outline or biography of your current “life” issues that are affecting your ability to meet your financial obligations.
Please keep in mind that your are composing the hardship letter for your lender or servicer and because of the foreclosure crisis, they are extremely busy and back logged. So, with that in mind, do not write a book because most likely it will not get the attention of an over worked, $12 an hour loss mitigation employee. Keep it short and to the point. Usually 1 or at maximum 2 pages is more than enough to get your point across.
Here is an example list of hardships that lenders consider during the loan workout process:
- Adjustable Rate Mortgage Reset- Payment S**** (uncommon, but we will see more lenders accept this in the future)
- Loss of Job
- Reduced Income
- Failed Business
- Job Relocation
- Death of Spouse or C0-Borrower
- Marital Separation
- Military Duty
- Reduced Income
- Medical Bills
- Damage to Property (natural disaster or unnatural)
- Other (Please Specify)
Now that you understand what your lender or servicer is looking for, it’s time to sit down and write a hardship letter. I made it easy for you by giving you a couple templates below that you can use as a boiler plate for your own letter. Make sure you make it unique to your situation.
Remember that your hardship letter is only one piece of the loan workout process, but key in helping you avoid foreclosure. You will still need to jump a few hurdles with your lender before they will approve you any kind of work out plan.
Example Harship Letter:
Name: (Your Name)
Address: (Your Address)
Lender Name: (Your Lender)
Loan #: (your Loan #)
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing this letter to explain my unfortunate set of circumstances that have caused us to become delinquent on our mortgage. We have done everything in our power to make ends meet but unfortunately we have fallen short and would like you to consider working with us to modify our loan. Our number one goal is to keep our home and we would really appreciate the opportunity to do that.
The main reason that caused us to be late is (insert reason here and don’t be too lengthy and long winded) Soon after being late and our income not being nearly enough, we had fallen further and further behind. Now, it’s to the point where we cannot afford to pay what is owed to (lender). It is our full intention to pay what we owe. But at this time we have exhausted all of our income and resources so we are turning to you for help.
(The approximate date of hardship and we believe that our situation is Temporary or will be Permanent.)
Our situation has got better because (reason here) and we feel that a loan modification would benefit us both. We would appreciate if you can work with us to lower or delinquent amount owed and or payment so we can keep our home and also afford to make amends with your firm.
We truly hope that you will consider working with us and we are anxious to get this settled so we all can move on.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Hardship Letter Contributed by LoanSafe.org Forum Member September 7, 2007 To: Countrywide Mortgage account # 058989482
Re: Mortgage modification program
Due to the recent adjustment to the mortgage I currently have with your company, I am finding it very difficult to afford the new payment. I have a 3 year fixed rate which is now adjustable and is schedule to adjust again in Feb. 2008.
Considering my current income, there will be no way I can afford the increased payments come February. Hopefully there is way to renegotiate the terms of my current mortgage to avoid default and help stop foreclosure on my home.
Is it possible to have my current adjustable rate mortgage converted to a fixed rate? If this is not possible can the next rate change be postponed to a future date to allow me to hopefully refinance. Any other solutions you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
I have had no problem making my payments for over three years now and do not want that to change. My mortgage was originally written by another company and bought by Countrywide. The original mortgage terms are terrible but it was the only loan I was qualified for at the time. I was assured that refinancing would be no problem but that turned out not to be true due to the downturn of the housing industry.
The main problem is that my property is now worth about 5-10% less than what I paid for it which is preventing me from being able to refinance. I was researching on the internet and came across the Fannie Mae Announcement #06-18 (Oct. 4th 2006) regarding the servicing of Conventional Mortgage Modifications.
I believe this addresses the situation I currently find myself in along with many other homeowners. Attached are recent pay stubs showing my current income.
Thanks you for your time and consideration.
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