Karen and Dave didn’t plan to fail on their short sale process. They just didn’t realize the restrictions on the lender hardship requirements.
It’s a complicated process, going through a short sale. Banks require the same amount of paperwork, if not more, when applying for a new mortgage! A hardship letter is part of the normal short sale process, but many folks struggle with writing one.
“We’re already behind on the mortgage, isn’t that hardship already?” Karen asked.
Actually, the bank doesn’t see it that way, so I explained:
“Being behind on your mortgage payments is the symptom, the lender wants to know the cause. It’s one thing to be stuck due to issues beyond your control, like being laid off from a job. It’s not the same if you’ve racked up credit card debt by overspending and now can’t afford your mortgage,” I said. “The type of financial distress matters to the lender.”
See how to write an effective short sale hardship letter here: Blog Post – How To Write an Effective Hardship Letter
Surprisingly enough, the banks do read the hardship letters the clients send in. Lenders include an illness and medical bills, a job loss, a job relocation of at least 50 miles, natural disaster like a tornado, a business failure, loss of hours at work, under employment, health insurance increase, mortgage payment increase and the divorce or death of a spouse as valid hardships. Lenders will gladly work with home sellers on any of these hardships to avoid a lengthy foreclosure.
Ready to take a short sale quiz to see if you qualify? Click here: Fox Valley Short Sales Quiz
However, wanting to downsize/upsize, increasing family size or loss of equity do not qualify as a financial hardship. Still, some banks are more lenient that others. The guidelines are set for a baseline, but it never hurts to speak to the lender directly. Often times, not hearing a flat out “No” may mean it is still good to proceed.
Completing the full process of a short sale is like running a marathon. Listing agents like us work until it’s finished, not when it’s convenient or because we’re the fastest. We work at the lender’s pace and keep it moving forward. Retaining a sense of urgency and high communication levels is what rewards our persistence.
Talking more with Karen and David, they realized something. It was a moment of reflection. They realized some bumps in the road of life were not an embarrassment, nor the end of the line. It was something to embrace, and move on from. I was glad to be able to help them with the focus of the letter, but the story is all theirs. A big dose of humility later, they sent their letter to me to read and I was very impressed.
“This is exactly what the lender wants to know. You covered the who, why and how of the financial distress perfectly. I know the letters can be difficult to write, but this one will definitely work in your favor,” I said.
Karen and David lost a lot of sleep over their home mortgage. And they stressed over their hardship letter even more. You don’t need to! Call me today to find out how you can short sale your home without paying a penny. Some home owners may qualify for relocation assistance (restrictions apply).
Did you know?
In addition to short sales, Fox Valley Homes offers full broker service for regular and distressed listings, for all buyers and home sellers, rentals, as well as investors in residential properties across the northern Illinois and Chicago region. All team members are trained to coordinate short sales effectively and retain the full skills and expertise of fully licensed Realtors®, including access to the resources of the local Illinois MLS database.
For more information and details on short sales and more, please contact Jennifer Kinzle, 630-854-4360. Email me direct firstname.lastname@example.org.
Direct/Text: (630) 854-4360
Facebook: Fox Valley Homes – Jennifer Kinzle, Broker
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Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois
1733 Park St, #150
Naperville, IL 60563