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Cosigned for a Debt For My Girlfriend. Now She Refuses to Pay It. – Mike

By on June 16, 2011
Cosigned for a Debt For My Girlfriend. Now She Refuses to Pay It. – Mike

“Dear Steve,

Around 8-9 years ago I cosigned on a debt for my girlfriend who had a teenage girl that was in trouble. The loan was to get her off the street and into a private school in montana. about 3-6 months after the signing, her and I broke up.

present day I started getting calls from creditors saying that they wanted their money. She defaulted and my credit is damaged as a result. So..I got a hold of her and she said she had an attorney dealing with the bank. I called her attorney and they were trying to work a deal with the bank. 3 months go by and I start getting calls from debt collection people. I call her attorney again and he says that he hasn’t heard from her in months and so is not representing her at this time. So… I try to get back ahold of her and she tells me she is going through a tough time.. However I started researching her situation and she works at Intel as a manager, has a real-estate business on the side and also a restoration and bed and breakfest on the side (she has money and assets). She is also married again (she was divorced before I was with her).

Talking to creditors some more they were unaware of some of this, so I sent this information to them and they called back and said indeed it looks like she is trying to “hide” her assets. Putting them in her kids name, or her dads name etc.. Time passes and I’m still getting mail that I need to pay debt and it seems like its a new credit collection company. All the time I call her (my ex girlfriend) weekly and can never get ahold of her, and she won’t return calls.

I believe she is trying to stick me with the loan. I believe her being the primary on the loan AND because she has a job and assets that she needs to be held accountable.

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What are my options? Can I pay the loan and then sue her for the full amount? what about also sueing her for stress related around all this?

and finally what are my chances of contacting the bank and trying to pay a % of the loan just to get them to leave me alone and have them go solely after her for the rest?

any other options?

Mike”

Dear Mike,

You can always try to negotiate your way out of the loan liability but I doubt the bank would go for that. Right now you are the better person for them to go after.

Probably the better thing to do is consult with a local attorney about suing your ex-girlfriend and try to garnish her wages to pay the judgment you might win.

Outside of that you’ve learned a really tough lesson about why you should never cosign for a loan.

The reason the lender wants a cosigner is because the person applying has bad or insufficient credit and they want deeper pockets to go after. The cosigner gets all the liability for the loan and none of the benefits.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About 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.

7 Comments

  1. Mike

    July 21, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Hello I wanted to give an update to what is happening. So a colleciton agency “revenue group” and got a hold of me and they acknowledged that my ex girlfriend was not returning calls and because I co-signed they would go after me.  After talking with them they agreed that if I paid them 50% of the liquidated debt in ful (lump sum). They would go after her for the rest and they would remove me from any more obligation to the loan. We’re talking around 15k dollars here so my share would be 7.5k. I realize that I’m in a rock and hard place… and told em to send me the paper work.

    Does this sound right?  any advice?

    • Steve Rhode

      July 21, 2011 at 11:04 pm

      As long as you get the deal in writing and it makes it clear you are not responsible for the balance due, then it might be a reasonable offer. You want to also make sure they are not forgiving the rest of the balance because that might give you a huge tax liability for the forgiven debt.

      • Mike

        August 11, 2011 at 9:25 pm

        update, so the creditors came back and said “we can’t separate you from the original loan” you need to pay it all. At this point I am talking to an attorney, who deals with this situation all the time. I’ll be filing a claim in circuit court against the primary loan holder and going that route..

  2. AmBRIGITY

    June 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I am sorry to hear that this happened and I am sure this is a tough lesson learned! If they are coming after you, you should work with the creditor ASAP to get it taken care of. Perhaps they would agree to modify/remove any marks on your credit if you agree to pay the full amount due? It seems like a reasonable solution if you have the money… to pay it.

    Then, I would go after your ex. Depending on the amount and your state, you could sue for the amount in small claims. If that isn’t an option due to the amount… try consulting with an attorney if the amount is substantial. Either way, I would take the time to go after her. Sue for pain, suffering, lost wages, and have her garnished for whatever you get. Eventually, you’ll get paid back even if its only in the form of her tax returns over the next thirty years…

    It will take time and dedication on your part to make it happen at first, but I hope you follow through. She had no problem totally screwing you over…

  3. AmBRIGITY

    June 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I am sorry to hear that this happened and I am sure this is a tough lesson learned! If they are coming after you, you should work with the creditor ASAP to get it taken care of. Perhaps they would agree to modify/remove any marks on your credit if you agree to pay the full amount due? It seems like a reasonable solution if you have the money… to pay it.

    Then, I would go after your ex. Depending on the amount and your state, you could sue for the amount in small claims. If that isn’t an option due to the amount… try consulting with an attorney if the amount is substantial. Either way, I would take the time to go after her. Sue for pain, suffering, lost wages, and have her garnished for whatever you get. Eventually, you’ll get paid back even if its only in the form of her tax returns over the next thirty years…

    It will take time and dedication on your part to make it happen at first, but I hope you follow through. She had no problem totally screwing you over…

  4. AmBRIGITY

    June 17, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I am sorry to hear that this happened and I am sure this is a tough lesson learned! If they are coming after you, you should work with the creditor ASAP to get it taken care of. Perhaps they would agree to modify/remove any marks on your credit if you agree to pay the full amount due? It seems like a reasonable solution if you have the money… to pay it.

    Then, I would go after your ex. Depending on the amount and your state, you could sue for the amount in small claims. If that isn’t an option due to the amount… try consulting with an attorney if the amount is substantial. Either way, I would take the time to go after her. Sue for pain, suffering, lost wages, and have her garnished for whatever you get. Eventually, you’ll get paid back even if its only in the form of her tax returns over the next thirty years…

    It will take time and dedication on your part to make it happen at first, but I hope you follow through. She had no problem totally screwing you over…

  5. AmBRIGITY

    June 17, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I am sorry to hear that this happened and I am sure this is a tough lesson learned! If they are coming after you, you should work with the creditor ASAP to get it taken care of. Perhaps they would agree to modify/remove any marks on your credit if you agree to pay the full amount due? It seems like a reasonable solution if you have the money… to pay it.

    Then, I would go after your ex. Depending on the amount and your state, you could sue for the amount in small claims. If that isn’t an option due to the amount… try consulting with an attorney if the amount is substantial. Either way, I would take the time to go after her. Sue for pain, suffering, lost wages, and have her garnished for whatever you get. Eventually, you’ll get paid back even if its only in the form of her tax returns over the next thirty years…

    It will take time and dedication on your part to make it happen at first, but I hope you follow through. She had no problem totally screwing you over…

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