What Should I Say In My Short Sale Hardship Letter?

What Should I Say In My Short Sale Hardship Letter?

As a Santa Maria short sale agent, this is probably the most common question I’m asked by potential short sale sellers.  It can easily become the “never-ending term paper,” you know, the one you never start writing?  Short sale sellers tend to put off and put off writing their hardship letter.  It is a bit different than a loan modification hardship letter, where the purpose is to indicate that you have it hard but you can still afford to stay in the home if your lender makes a few changes to your loan.  The short sale hardship letter’s purpose is to tell your lender that you can’t afford your house and you need to sell it.  Many short sale sellers have a difficult time writing about the fact that they cannot afford their home.

My advice is to not make the short sale hardship letter any more difficult that it needs to be.  The basic format is to first write about when you purchased the home and what your financial situation was like at that time.  Usually, there was an event or trigger that then led to the financial difficulty: unemployment, reduction in hours, increase in expenses, etc.  Write about that event or series of events and when they began.  Be fairly specific about the impact to your income and expenses and if possible attach supporting documentation to your short sale hardship letter.  However, the short sale hardship letter does not need to be an epic saga.  Most short sale hardship letters that I process are one page in length.  They should be signed and dated and list the loan number and property address.

Before deciding whether to short sale your home, it is essential that you obtain legal and tax advice, and consult with an experienced short sale agent.   If you are considering a short sale of your Santa Maria, Orcutt, or Nipomo home and would like a short sale consultation, please call my office to schedule a meeting or a telephone consultation at (805) 938-9950.

Tni LeBlanc is an independent Real Estate Broker, Attorney, and Short Sale Agent.   She is a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and Certified HAFA Specialist (CHS) serving the Santa Maria, Orcutt and Five Cities area of the Central Coast of California.

*  Nothing in this article is intended to solicit listings currently under contract with another broker.  This article offers no legal or tax advice.  Those considering a short sale are advised to consult with their own attorney for legal advice, and their tax professional for tax advice prior to entering into a short sale listing agreement.  Mint Properties is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan. If you stop paying your mortgage, you could lose your home and damage your credit rating.

Copyright© 2011 Tni LeBlanc *What Should I Say In My Short Sale Hardship Letter?*


  1. I am a Short Sale Specialist. Short Sale means a homeowner may be able to sell their home for less than what they owe the Lender. When lenders agree to do a short sale, it means the lender is accepting less than the total amount due. Not all lenders will accept short sales or discounted payoffs. The forgiven debt may be taxable income. The seller should discuss this matter with a tax accountant as there are situations where your income would not be taxed.

  2. Great post Tni! Giving advice to homeowners in your area as an experienced Santa Maria Short Sale Agents will be very valuable for them. And if ever they need professional assistance, they already know who to call.

    Bob Hertzog
    Summit Home Consultants
    Phoenix Short Sale Agents

  3. Thanks for sharing this Tni! Your expert advice as Santa Maria Short Sale Agents will be very helpful to many homeowners in your area. Keep up the good work!

    Katerina Gasset
    International Properties and Investment Inc
    Wellington Short Sale Agent

  4. Nice post, Tni. Sometimes writing their hardship on one page makes the entire hardship situation seem more manageable and helps the sellers move into a mindset where it is easier for them to move on with their life. More great tips from the Santa Maria CA short sale agents! Thank you.

    Laurie Hellmer
    Real People Realty
    Chicago Short Sale Agents

  5. Great advice on writing a short sale hardship letter from an experienced Santa Maria Short Sale Agent. Thanks for sharing this Tni!

  6. Thank you for sharing the short sale hardship letter format that’s effective for you as a Santa Maria short sale agent. This information definitely lessens the burden of those who are potentially short selling their houses.

    Petra Norris
    Lakeland Fl Short Sale Agents

  7. This short sale information is super informative Petra , I can see why you are the top Santa Maria Short Sale Agent. Keep up the good work!

  8. Hey Tni, this is a great post! It’s very insightful and as the best of Santa Maria Short Sale Agents, you are doing an excellent job of getting your short sale messages across. Thanks for the well thought out post.

    Stephen Munson
    Munson Realty

    Pasadena Short Sale Agent

  9. You share important information on doing a hardship letter on a short sale Tni…most important for any seller…using the Santa Maria short sale agents will make the difference for any seller struggling with what to do- you have the expertise & drive to get the short sale done.
    Ginny Gorman
    Phillips Post Road Realy

    North Kingstown short sale agents

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