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Many people think a hardship is mainly based on financial matters and that is not necessarily the case. Anything that makes it difficult for you to keep on making a mortgage payment might qualify to be a hardship. One thing that the bank doesn't want to see is a homeowner who seems to be looking for a way out simply because the home is not worth the amount the owner paid for it.

Being upside-down is one of the qualifications for a short sale but a bank may not grant a short sale solely on that basis. If your life looks unchanged since you took the loan, the bank might say you can afford to stay in your home at your present payment level. If your situation has changed, here are some examples that may qualify for a hardship:

  • Unemployment
  • Reduced income - examples are furloughs, a new job, a partner's loss of a job, or a pay cut
  • Illness or medical emergency
  • A job transfer (voluntary or involuntary)
  • Divorce, separation or marital difficulties
  • Exotic mortgage terms - an adjustable-rate loan that adjusts and you cannot afford the new payment
  • Military service
  • Death in the family
  • Incarceration
  • Increased expenses and excessive debt
  • Unexpected repairs or home maintenance




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