What you write in the ‘My Story’ section is a vital part of your hardship letter. Your instinct may be to pour your heart out on the page. You may think that by including every detail about your hardship and personal life will make the creditor more empathetic to your situation. Often times, this is not the case. From a strategy standpoint, it is usually best to not go into great details at this early stage, before you have funds to resolve your debts.
When drafting your Story, focus on keeping it simple. You should keep the details of your Hardship and situation within your Story to 1-2 paragraphs. You want to provide enough detail to accurately describe your Hardship, but not so much information that the creditor is privy to every aspect of your finances. Express your Hardship so that your creditors know you are experiencing a difficult time right now, but that you do plan to resolve your account, given some time. In simple words, explain the reason(s) for your hardship, like job loss, death in the family, illness, hours cut at work, etc., but there is usually no reason at this point to disclose specific details about your case – such as – type of your illness, reason for job loss, details about mortgages or any other financial responsibilities. For more information about this, review What NOT to include in your Hardship Letter.
There may be a time down the road, when it is appropriate to include more details about your Hardship and your finances – usually when you are negotiating with a creditor. Sometimes, a collector will ask for specifics about your hardship in order to accept a low settlement offer. At this time, if you are comfortable, it can be beneficial to provide more details about your situation.
Take your time drafting your Story. Don’t stress, it will all come together. Remember to follow the examples shown in UGotiate and you will do great!