Does bankruptcy statute of limitations apply to a co-signer? 11 Answers as of May 17, 2011

My Father in law co-signed for his son over 10 years ago. His son filed bankruptcy and returned the car. We understand the bankruptcy does not cover the co-signer. However, if the 10 years have passed to collect on the debt, does the statute of limitation apply to protect the co-signer? It is $6000.00 and he's a 78 year old man on Social Security with a very decrepit property.

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Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
There is no Bankruptcy Statute of Limitations. If the relevant period of time to collect the debt was 10 years, nothing was done to collect the debt, and the co-signer did not take any action to re-affirm the debt, then they are barred by the Statute of Limitations to collect the debt against the co-signer.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 5/17/2011
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
Yes. A statute of limitations applies. To determine which state court law applies, you will need to review the credit card agreement.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/17/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
Your answer depends on specific state law but it sounds like your father in law is judgment proof anyway.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/16/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
I do not know which state you live in or where the contract was signed. If the statute of limitations has run, they can not win a civil suit if you defend on that basis. The will keep calling however. Send them a "do not call letter." Send it certified mail, return receipt. Keep a copy for your records. If they call after that, log all calls. Write down the date and time. Write down what they say if you talk to them. Take a picture of the in coming call to prove that they in fact called. Then, find a lawyer to sue them.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/13/2011
Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A.
Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A. | Robert S. Cohen
Depending on what state he lives in it appears that the statute of limitation has run and the creditor would be barred from filing suit. However, be aware that if a creditor is able to get him to make a payment the statute tolls again.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/13/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    Statutes of limitation under California state law applies. The statue begins to run as of the breach, not as of when the debt was incurred.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    That depends on the laws of whatever state the contract was signed or governs the contract. A 10-year statute of limitations sounds very long for something, but the real question is when the time period begins to run, and again that is governed by state law.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    The liability of a non-Debtor co signer is controlled by state law. The statute of limitations for contracts in the state where he lives will determine if the statute of limitations has expired. If it has, they cannot sue. Second, if he is on Social Security, a creditor cannot attach or garnishee Social Security income, and depending on the exemptions in his state, his other property may be exempt from creditors as well.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    The statute of limitations is California law and has nothing to do with bankruptcy. If more than 4 years have passed since the car loan was not paid then the statute of limitations would apply as a complete defense if case a lawsuit is filed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    The statute of limitations should apply to protect the co-signer, but it must be argued in response to the complaint. If the creditor files a complaint, serve it on the defendant who does not respond on time, the creditor will take his default and the statute of limitations defense would be lost such a defense is an "affirmative defense" and the defendant has to raise it on time to be protected by it. Your father-in-law should consider filing a homestead declaration to protect equity in his property, filing bankruptcy for protection or making sure he responds on time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    If the appropriate amount of time in your state has run for such a debt, the debt may not be collectible; further, social security is not subject to execution per 42 USC 407(a).
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 5/12/2011
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