Will my co-signers be absolved if I file for bankruptcy? How? 15 Answers as of May 15, 2015

My parents co-signed my credit card way back when I was 18 and opened it, and now creditors have been coming after them even though they have had nothing to do with the account for 10 years. If I file for bankruptcy, will they be absolved? Does it matter whether I file chapter 7 or chapter 13?

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Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Creditors will come after your parents. In Ch13 there is a "co-debtor stay": as long as you are in ch13. But unless the case pays the creditors 100% they will come after your parents when the case is over. It might be possible to pay 100% because in ch13 the interest on the debt stops. This can be a huge savings.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/15/2015
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
If you file under ch. 13, you can propose a Plan providing for 100% payment on this particular debt.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 5/14/2015
Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A.
Cohen & Kendziorra, P.A. | Robert S. Cohen
Your parents are responsible if they co-signed on the loan. The creditor is most likely going after your parents because they have income and/or assets to settle the debt. When you file bankruptcy, whether a Chapter 7 or 13, your responsibility on the debt is discharged but it does not discharge your parents' liability on the debt. They would need to file their own bankruptcy case to discharge the debt.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/13/2015
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
No, they are joint and severally liable so you will be discharged from the debt but they will remain 100% liable for that debt.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/13/2015
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
In a Chapter 7, your cosigners are never discharged from the debt. In a Chapter 13, in some states you can elect to pay off the credit card in the plan, therefore removing your parents liability. If your parents do get stuck with your debt (you really should have gotten a new credit card on your own as soon as you got a decent job, nice mother's day present), be certain that they require a copy of their agreement. ?Often these get lost over the years
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 5/13/2015
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    No, your filing bankruptcy only discharges your legal obligation to pay the debt. It does not affect any other person who is liable for the debt, including co-signers. If you file and are discharged, your parents remain as the only persons the creditor can pursue for payment.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2015
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    No, as co-signors, your parents will be on the hook for the debt in a Chapter 7. If you file a Chapter 13, you will have to create a payment plan and the creditors will not look to your parents to pay them.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2015
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    No. Unfortunately you filing for bankruptcy does nothing at all to stop the collectors from pursuing the cosigners. The very reason a lender required a cosigner on an account is to protect them in exactly this situation. If you don't pay, someone else has agreed to.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/13/2015
    Novakov & Associates, PLLC
    Novakov & Associates, PLLC | LINDA S. NOVAKOV
    If your parents co-signed, they are also legally responsible for the debt. If you file, it will remove your obligation to pay, but not your co-signer's obligation to pay.
    Answer Applies to: Kentucky
    Replied: 5/13/2015
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    Generally your co-signers are not absolved by your bankruptcy, but a chapter 13 includes a co-debtor stay which would protect them while you attempt to repay your debt over a period of years. If you complete your plan and the co-signed debt is not satisfied, then the creditor can pursue your parents after your bankruptcy is completed. But if you pay off the debt during your chapter 13, then your parents would no longer need to worry. A chapter 7 does not protect your co-signers because it is not designed to repay your debts. You would be forgiven and they would remain obligated, unless the statute of limitations is available to them.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/12/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    They are liable as co-signers even if you are discharged.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/12/2015
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    When someone co-signs a debt, they are on the hook to pay the debt just as if it was their debt. Your bankruptcy will not change that and neither will the passage of time. In fact, there are no good excuses available to a co-signer for not paying this type of debt.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/12/2015
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter | Daniel J Winter
    no, your bankruptcy doesn't eliminate their responsibility to pay if they cosigned for you. You do have options to protect them by paying in a Chapter 13. Call a bankruptcy lawyer for a free consultation to review it further.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/12/2015
    Law Office of Barry R. Levine | Barry R. Levine, Esq.
    Nope. Their liability and yours are two separate distinct matters.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/12/2015
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    If you file, then the creditors will have no choice but to pursue your parents. The BK will have no effect on their liability.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/12/2015
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