What to Send in a Hardship Packet for a Mortgage

Even though you and your spouse may not have owned your home for long, making the mortgage every month can be a challenge if you experience a hardship. Some lenders will modify your mortgage to help you through a rough patch. If you need to move for a new job, you may have to sell your property for less than the amount of your mortgage. Before a loan modification or short sale is approved, you must call your lender and complete a hardship packet for an adequate assessment of your situation. Your bank will have specific requirements, but most request many of the same documents.

Bank Forms

The documents will ask personal information about you, your spouse and family. The bank also will ask questions about your hardship and why you can't afford your payments anymore. Fill out the questionnaire as thoroughly as possible to avoid a delay in processing your packet. In addition, you may need to complete a form that allows your lender to request tax records from the federal government.

Hardship Letter

Whether your lender specifically requires it or not, send a personal letter describing your situation with your hardship packet. This document allows you to explain, in your own words, why you cannot pay your mortgage. You also need to say how long you expect to be in the situation, and explain the remedy you are requesting. Be as truthful and detailed as possible. The lender may require you to prove any statement you make, such as claiming a medical condition and extraordinary health care costs.

Proof of Income

Send proof of income for yourself, your spouse and any other family member living on the property. Send pay stubs for the last month of wages, or a profit and loss statement for the current year if you have your own business. If you are unable to provide the formal documents, ask your employer, or employers, to write a letter stating the amount you earned in the last 30 days. This must include all of your income, such as retirement pay, unemployment, rental income, government assistance, interest on accounts and tips. In addition, send copies of your last two months (four months, if you are self-employed) of bank statements so the lender can review your balances and deposits of income.

Short Sale Information

If your house is listed for sale with a real estate agent, you might have realized by now that you won't be able to sell it for as much as you owe the mortgage company. A short sale approval from the bank is necessary to complete your sales transaction. Permission from your financial institution can include forgiving the excess amount of debt you will owe after the house is sold. If you are in a short sale situation, your realtor must provide certain documents, such as your listing contract, formal offer and recent sales of similar homes in your area.

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About the Author

Carol Deeb has been an editor and writer since 1988. Her work has appeared in magazines, newspapers and online publications, as well as a book on education. Deeb is a real-estate investor and business owner with professional experience in human resources. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from San Diego State University.