I cosigned for my son a car in 7/25/2001. We were in an accident, and the car was repossessed on October 3, 2006. The car was sold by private sale at Southern California Auto Auction. They said the vehicle sold for $1000.00, or 19% of the then book value of $5075.00. The Total Contract amount was $42,905.40 (less credits before repossession $31,161.17), plus expenses and charges $924.87, equals balance at breach $12,669.10, less credits before suit $1000, equals principal sued for $11,669.10.
On 11/7/2008, MacDowell & Associates obtained a default judgment in the total sum of $14,953.94. I wrote MacDowell & Asssociates a Settlement Offer for the amount of $3000.00 to settle this entire matter. They telephoned me back and said they would take $4000, but that would only dismiss me from the case and not my son. I told them I had to think about it. My son has no money, and I am 67 years old on disability retirement. If, you can please help me. Is there anything else I can do??
Actually that seems like a pretty reasonable offer for them to release you from this debt. Pay what you can agree to and let the lender go after your grandson for the rest. You are not doing him any favors by shielding him from his responsibility. Or, you can go bankrupt to end your responsibility for your grandsons debt. This is actually his mess and he will need to step-up and take some responsibility for it.
I would suspect they’d take $3,500 if you promised to deliver the check within 48 hours of acceptance. If you go for the settlement be sure to get a written confirmation that you are release from this settlement. The settlement has already hurt your credit and you’ll want to make sure that you can show it was satisfied on your part in case the issue comes up in the future.
The problem here is that there is no force or leverage that you can put on the holder of a valid default judgment. They have the upper hand and obviously you have some assets they can go after if you can write that check.
In order to have an agreement you need to have a meeting of the minds. Both parties must come to an acceptance that the offer is acceptable to both. Until that happens, you have nothing.
Repeat after me, “Never Ever Cosign.”