HOMEOWNERS having trouble paying their mortgages may try to elicit sympathy from their lenders in long, emotional letters laden with woe.
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“As though the institution you’re applying to has a heart,” observed Kelly Snitkin, a former housing counselor whose Manhattan law practice specializes in real estate. “It does not.”
Still, lenders do look for what is known as a hardship letter when a borrower applies for a loan modification. Such a letter is a requirement for modification applications under the government’s Making Home Affordable program.
A hardship letter is not the basis for modification approval — that depends on the borrower’s financials and the intricacies of the various government and in-house lender programs. Rather, the purpose of the hardship letter is to...