What qualifies as hardship in a short sale? I get this question fairly often, and it should be addressed. First, I'll tell you what does not qualify as hardship, and that is simply being underwater. If you owe more than you are worth, being upside down alone is not adequate hardship to get a short sale approved. That is only half the equation. There has to be a financial hardship.
In every case of hardship I have ever seen, a loss of income has been involved. It could be unemployment, divorce, being laid off, the failure of a business, or any of a hundred other things, but a loss or decrease of income is absolutely hardship. When your expenses remain the same and your income goes down or disappears, you have a case for hardship. You could be a ditch digger paying a $500 per month mortgage or a brain surgeon paying $10,000 per month. If you lose income, hardship is not hard to prove. In rare cases, income has remained the same but the payment has adjusted up, but the mathematical outcome, namely a deficit, is the same.
That is as basic a yardstick as I can find. I'd be surprised to find a more common or less complicated theme.
Loss of income is almost always a case for hardship.