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I Signed as a Co-Buyer for an Ex-Friend and I Want Out

Written by Steve Rhode

Question:

Dear Steve,

I signed as a co-buyer for a car loan back in May for an x-friend. He has recently moved out of my home and taken the car to another location (still in the same state).

He got new insurance without my name being listed on the policy, and the car is not listed in the contract as being at this new address which my x-friend moved to.

There is only one key to the vehicle but we share ownership of a car that I currently don’t even have access to.

I’m also going through a divorce (my husband and I took responsibility for our own debts) but wondering if this would still be marital property since the divorce isn’t per say final.

I have made several attempts to contact the dealership (Jdbyrider) through email and text with no return phone calls.

I would like to know if I have the right to voluntarily surrender the vehicle to the lender without default on the loan, or if there is any way I can get this car out of my name as the co-buyer period?

Nicole

Answer:

Dear Nicole,

Yep. That sucks for sure.

Can you confirm if you are actually a co-buyer and not a co-signer? Post your answer in the comments section below.

The information you provided makes that unclear.

If you are a co-buyer then your name would appear on the title for the vehicle. As a co-buyer you would share joint ownership of the vehicle and joint liability for the loan.

As a co-signer you would only have liability for the loan, not be on the car title, and have no ownership stake in the vehicle.

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At this point, you need some clarification on exactly what your role is in this situation. I would urge you to contact Byrider customer service by phone at 888-240-3595 and talk to them to see if they can clear up your role in the transaction.

You could also contact your state motor vehicle office and see if they can provide some clarity on the title.

You’ve clearly learned to never ever co-sign for any loan, ever. Don’t do that.

The tough issue right now is as co-buyer or co-signer you have 100% liability for the vehicle loan if your ex-friend defaults.

  1. The only way to avoid that would be to talk to an attorney and see if the transaction is defective and not valid.
  2. File bankruptcy to discharge your legal liabilities for the vehicle debt.
  3. Have your ex-friend payoff or refinance the vehicle into their name alone.

As long as you are still stuck in this mess the loan will be reported on your credit as well.

The reality is that after a divorce, it can make more financial sense to break all past joint financial liabilities by filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and getting the fresh start the law was designed for. That is a form of taking responsibility as well.


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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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