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Short Sale Hardship Letter is the most important letter you will ever write to a bank.

The short sale hardship letter is a crucial element in obtaining short sale approval through your lender. Short sales offer an alternative solution to help homeowners stop foreclosure. When lenders approve a short sale offer, they agree to accept less than is owed on the mortgage note. With foreclosure rates escalating by as much as 57-percent in 2008, many lenders are now faced with an overwhelming amount of short sale offers.

The message conveyed in the short sale hardship letter should be truthful and concise. Short sales are handled by each lending institution's Loss Mitigation department. Employees known as Loss Mitigators are assigned as personal representatives to review each short sale application.

In some of the harder hit foreclosure states, such as California, Texas and Florida, experts suggest banks receive as many as one hundred short sale applications per day. For this reason alone, individuals applying for short sale approval must write compelling hardship letters that stand above the rest.

There is some debate over whether short sale hardship letters should hand written or typed. This is really a matter of personal preference. However, it's imperative the loss mitigator can read and understand the hardship letter. If you have illegible handwriting it is best to type the letter or have someone else write it for you.

Whether you handwrite or type the short sale hardship letter, follow the principals of writing a business letter. Simon Volkov has published an example foreclosure hardship letter at Ezine Articles, which can easily be adapted for a short sale offer.

A short sale package must be submitted along with the short sale hardship letter. This includes a number of forms including financial statements, tax returns, real estate sales contract, estimate settlement statement (HUD-1) and proof of buyer's financing. If forms are missing or improperly filled out, the short sale offer can be disqualified and force the homeowner into foreclosure.

When submitting a short sale package to loss mitigation, be certain to send it via certified mail with return receipt requested or use an overnight delivery service with signature required. Always make two copies of all documentation submitted. Keep one copy at home and another in a safe deposit box or other secure location.

Obtaining short sale approval is no easy task and requires submission of considerable paperwork. It's best to work with a professional who specializes in real estate short salesto ensure documents are properly filled out and filed in a timely fashion.