My Husband Cosigned for His Mothers Jeep. Guess What? She Defaulted. – Erin


“Dear Steve,

OK, here goes. My husband co-signed for his mom on a jeep in 2002 (he was 20). His mom then neglected on the payments and filed bankruptcy in 2005 (not sure weather 7 or 13). The car was repossessed without any contact to my husband (who no longer lived at home) to take over payments or the car.

The car was sold at auction for a little over $2000, and the creditor just in the last month started calling us telling us that we are now responsible for a little over $9000 on that car (his last credit report showed amount over due to be a little over $7000 which we thought would fall off 7 years after her bankruptcy.)

Are we actually liable for paying that debt, Or are the creditors just looking to see if we would pay it. Please help. It does not seem right that she would be free and clear and we would have to suffer. At the moment, we cannot afford to pay anything to anyone. So I am at a loss on what to do next.

I should mention that this is the actual lender calling, not a debt collector after 7 years!!!

Are we actually liable for paying this debt, or are the creditors just looking to see if we would pay them??

Please help


Dear Erin,

You said “It does not seem right that she would be free and clear and we would have to suffer,” well is she free and clear or does she feel a responsibility to her son? Sounds like she’s leaving him hanging out to dry on this one.

If your husband cosigned for the car he guaranteed payment in case she could not pay. Guess what, she defaulted. That left your husband on the hook for the money due.

I don’t know what the statute of limitations is on this debt but it’s not all that important. Even if the statue of limitations expired on this the lender can still pursue you for the debt, but might not be able to sue you.

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I would suggest that you either have a little sit down with Mom and ask her to step up and clear up her mess she created or go talk to a lawyer licensed in your state about what the status of the issue is. It is possible that you could still be sued by the lender, you won’t know till you talk to a local attorney.

And again, another great but horrible example of why people should never co-sign. I’m sorry you learned this lesson from practical experience.


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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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