Co-signers on student loans at risk of collection actions and lawsuit

J Thomas Black
Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Posted on Dec 18, 2013

Co-signing a debt for someone is a serious thing. Many people don't take it seriously enough. Generally speaking, a co-signer that signs a promissory note for a student loan is agreeing to be "jointly and severally liable" for the entire debt, if the primary borrower defaults. No excuses.

If you have a student loan with a co-signer, it is likely a private student loan. Private loans are like an unsecured bank loan, or unsecured credit card, they are just not dischargeable in bankruptcy. And if you don't pay it, you and your co-signer could be sued, and a court judgment entered against the both of you.

With a judgment, a creditor can have your and your co-signer's bank account seized and your non-exempt property seized by a sheriff at sold at auction to satisfy the debt. Don't let it get that far.

It could be that you don't have much property to seize. But if your co-signer does, they may need protection. You can provide that protection by filing chapter 13 bankruptcy, if you qualify. If you file chapter 13, there is a "co-debtor stay" that protects your co-signers, at least so long as the co-signed debt is a consumer debt, and so long as you propose to pay the debt in full (or cure the delinquent amount) during the chapter 13 case. Chapter 13 cases usually last 3-5 years.

Not sure of what your options are? If you live in the Houston Texas area or surrounding counties, give our office a call at 713-772-8037 and make an appointment to come in and meet with one of our attorneys. There is no charge and no obligation for your first visit with us.

We accept bankruptcy cases in the following counties: Austin, Brazoria, Brazos, Chambers, Colorado, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Harris, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Walker, Waller, and Wharton Counties.

Read More About Co-signers on student loans at risk of collection actions and lawsuit...