Am I responsbile for debt that I co-signed? 21 Answers as of July 12, 2013

I recently co-signed a debt with my spouse and she is now unable to pay it. Does it become my responsibility?

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Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law
Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law | Daniel Hoarfrost
Yes.That's what it means to co-sign a debt.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/8/2011
Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
Co-signing a debt means that you are accepting responsibility for payment of the debt if the signer fails to meet their obligations. So yes, as a co-signer you are responsible for making the payments.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 6/8/2011
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
In a word, yes. If she doesn't pay it the creditor will look to you. If one of you files bankruptcy, the other will be responsible. If both file, the debt is gone.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/8/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
Yes, especially if you live in a community property state.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/8/2011
Law Offices of Michael T. Krueger
Law Offices of Michael T. Krueger | Michael Krueger
The answer is yes, but the longer explanation will depend on what state you are located. If you live in a community property state you automatically are liable for the debt your spouse incurs during the marriage unless you can show documentation that the debt will not inure to your benefit. If you are not in a community property state, but you co-signed the loan, you will be liable for the entire debt if your spouse cannot pay depending on what is stated in the loan document.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Offices of Geoffrey Nwosu
    Law Offices of Geoffrey Nwosu | Geoffrey Nwosu
    Yes. When the principal borrower fails to perform, the co-signer becomes liable for the full amount cosigned. Please schedule appointment to see a bankruptcy attorney near you. Most attorneys will consult with you for free.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    When you co-sign for a debt you owe the money if the borrower defaults.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    Yes if you co-sign on a debt and the original debtor is unable to pay, then you will become responsible. Creditors may look to you in order to collect on a debt that the original debtor does not pay.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    Generally, if you co-signed for debt, you are also fully responsible. You should review the terms of the agreement to see under what conditions and what limitations there are on your liability.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    Yes. A co-signer is responsible if the primary debtor does not pay. That is the reason for requiring a co-signer. Technically, you are responsible for the debts of your spouse even if you do not co-sign if it is a debt incurred while married and living together as husband and wife. That is called a community debt. Many creditors do not bother to go after the spouse unless the spouse is a co-signer. (This assumes you live in California or other community property state).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    Unfortunately you are jointly liable for the debt. If your wife does not pay then the creditor will look to you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
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