Economic troubles make it difficult for many people to repay the debts they owe. While it may be possible to negotiate a settlement plan that eases your financial burden, you may be required to document a financial hardship before creditors are willing to do this. The most common way to do document a financial hardship is through a letter to the creditor which documents the reasons why it is difficult to maintain your financial responsibilities.
Include a brief description detailing the specifics of the financial hardship. According to USAttorneyLegalServices.com, valid reasons for documenting financial hardship include job loss, health problems, a death in the family and military service.
Provide proof. Include documents that support the claim, such as bank statements, late notices, verification of income or other documents that detail financial hardship.
State the type of relief sought. State exactly what you are looking for the creditor to do, such as lower or defer payments, lower the interest rate, refinance or approve a short sale on a property. Debts that may qualify for such negotiations include medical bills, student loans, personal loans, credit cards and mortgages.
Disclose the timeframe in which the creditor can expect the situation to be resolved. A creditor may be more willing to work out some type of negotiation if he expects that someone may be able to repay the debt in the future.
Keep copies of all correspondence and financial documents sent to, or received from, the creditor.