What can I do if I co-signed but my daughter never lived in the house? 4 Answers as of June 15, 2015

My daughter signed my name and had it notarized on a lease where she intended to go to school and pay with student loans. She never moved there and never lived in the house. She paid 2 months rent but stopped. We have rec'd letter from attorney with eviction and demanding pmt for October through January at $475 per month plus $100 late fee per month. within five days. Am I obligated and can my daughter be arrested? I informed renter that I had not signed lease when first contacted in Oct. but would help to get her to pay. She did intend to pay but did not follow thru on getting loans for school.

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Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
If your daughter forged your name without your knowledge or permission, she can be charged with forgery, fraud and/or identity theft. If you agreed to act as a co-signer, then you are equally responsible for the lease and rent due.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/15/2015
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
The facts you state are confusing. Your daughter can not legally sign your name and certainly can not have it notarized as your signature when it was not. The fact that she never moved there is irrelevant if she rented the house. If she was under the age of 18 when she signed, she was not an adult so can not be bound by a contract. The landlord must attempt to mitigate damages by trying to re-rent the premises as is reasonably possible, and offset what the rental income would be against what is owed under the contract. Many judges would only allow the landlord one month to re-rent, but if it is a college town where the rentals are mainly to students so it is much harder to rent after a certain date [after school starts], then the judge might give the landlord more time to find a new tenant. it is a civil matter so your daughter can not be arrested, but she needs to see a local attorney with all the facts and see what the attorney thinks.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/12/2015
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
You have a lawsuit against the notary.. for notarizing your signature while you were not present.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/12/2015
Casler Law Offices PLLC
Casler Law Offices PLLC | Carlton C. Casler
If your daughter signed with your consent, then you are responsible for the obligations stated in the lease. Unless there was language in the lease that allowed you or her to terminate the lease upon the happening (or not happening) of some event (i.e., not moving in, not getting student loan, etc.), then the lease is binding. The fact that two months' rent were paid supports the landlord's position that the lease was not contingent upon any specific event. Neither you, nor your daughter can be arrested (unless she forged your name on the lease without your permission), but the lawyer can file a lawsuit and collect the rent, late fees, attorney's fees, court costs and any other amounts stated in the lease.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 6/12/2015
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