Not sure what to include in your Hardship Letter? While some language can be very helpful to include in your Hardship Letter, there are details you should think twice about before you include in your letter.
It is best to keep your Hardship letter – especially the My Story section simple and to the point. Do not include topics or details that aren’t relevant to your hardship. There is also no need to explain your life story – your creditors will not be interested in every single detail of your life. The more to the point your Hardship Letter is, the more likely the creditor will take the time to read it and document your file.
Be careful to not write anything private or personal you do not want to disclose at this stage. Early on in the resolution process, you shouldn’t reveal too much about yourself. Later on, possibly when you are ready to settle, is may be time to go into more detail. Do not include phone numbers the creditors don’t have already. You should not include your place of employment or your work phone number unless you want calls to work.
The Hardship Letter is not the place to list details about your financial situation – such as how much you make, other debts that you owe, money that you may have in a few months, etc. Do not include any information about your income (this may come later in a budget). Also, it is not wise to include information about another party not on the account (like spouse’s info).
The tone of your letter should be amicable and polite. The hardship letter is not the place to vent your frustrations with the creditor. So, you should not complain about the payment or place blame on the bank because you cannot afford to make the payment. Never state that the reason you cannot make payments is because their interest is too high.
Typically the Hardship letter is sent at the beginning stage of your resolution process. So, it is likely that you will not have enough money yet to resolve your account. It is wise to be careful not to include language that the creditor could take as a promise to pay. For example, do not promise to make a payment by a certain date unless you are absolutely sure you will do so and don’t promise to make a payment of X amount unless you know 100% you will make the payment. Do not include that you intend to settle the debt unless you are including an offer with your hardship letter – and typically it is not recommended to include an offer in your Hardship Letter – offers are usually made with a Settlement Proposal. Overall you want to make sure to not make promises you don’t think you will be able to keep.