What can I do as a co signer if the debtor has filed for bankruptcy? 14 Answers as of July 04, 2013

When I was 17 years old my father bought me a car and had me co-sign on the loan. He had great credit at the time and thought that having me as a co-signor would give me a head start and help me build my credit. I had no idea at the time what being a co-signor really meant, all I knew was that I had a nice new car and it was half mine. Now, three years later, he has filed for bankruptcy (chapter 7 I believe) the car was repossessed (about a year ago). I was looking into personal loans with the hopes of purchasing a car and decided to look at my credit report for the first time ever and to my surprise I learned that I am now responsible for an $11,262 debt because I co-signed. Please tell me there is hope! I was never, at any point, contact by him or his lawyer about the situation. I am in desperate need of advice, I have nowhere to turn and no money. Please help!

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Dan Shay Law
Dan Shay Law | Daniel Shay
Unfortunately, you are liable for the debt. Your options are to pay it in full, ignore it and see what happens, settle it, or file BK. Your dads BK petition should have been listed you as a cosigner, but it doesnt make a difference.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/14/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
Your dad's portion was discharged so they are looking to collect on you. You should have been scheduled as a co-debtor and received notice. Nevertheless, may be contact the creditor and see if you can't work out a deal for the debt. Otherwise, you might look into BK yourself if that's the right option for you.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/11/2011
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
You weren't of legal age when you signed, so you should be able to get out of the contract. Contact the creditor with a copy of your drivers license or birth certificate, circle your date of birth and date of contract and ask them to remove it from your credit report because of age. If they won't, then contact a consumer lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 7/11/2011
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
As a co-signer you are liable fully for the debt if the primary signer files bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/4/2013
Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
You may be able to discharge your debt on the car in a chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 7/4/2013
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Being a co-signer means that you are responsible for making the payments when the other party doesn't do it. When your dad filed bankruptcy, he evidently also discharged the car and that makes you responsible for making the payments or paying any deficiency on it if it. Sorry, but you are stuck.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
    Sorry. As a cosigner, you are still responsible for the debt. Your father's bankruptcy wiped out his personal responsibility for the loan but it did not change the fact that you are still responsible for the debt. Your choices are pay the debt, negotiate a settlement, or, if your total situation justifies it, file bankruptcy and discharge the debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Law Office of J. Scott Logan, LLC
    Law Office of J. Scott Logan, LLC | John Scott Logan
    You are legally liable as the co-signor. If you have no money or assets, you may be judgment proof.
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    You could not legally sign such a document at age 17. Find a lawyer who can help you. You may have to sue the lender.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Tucker Legal Clinic
    Tucker Legal Clinic | Samuel Tucker
    Unfortunately you are stuck with the debt. You are probably a good candidate fo a Chapter 7 yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    A 17-year old cannot enter into a contract. Therefore, if you are sued then your defense is legal incapacity to contract. Getting that out of your credit report is very difficult if not impossible but you can have a note put in the credit report saying that you were a minor when you signed the contract and not legally liable for the debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2011
    Law Office of Jackie Robert Geller
    Law Office of Jackie Robert Geller | Jackie Robert Geller
    Unfortunately, you are responsible on the loan because you co-signed and became a joint debtor. Your father should do the right thing and help you pay for the car.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    The answer depends on details. Go see a lawyer immediately. If you signed at age 17 you may have a defense that needs to be asserted. This is something vital to your future to get right. And I suspect from your post it may have a happy ending.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/7/2011
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