How can I protect the co-signer on my private student loan? They are threatening to sue her!

If someone co-signs a student loan for someone else, it 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 liable for the entire debt, if the main borrower defaults. The debt collectors don't want to hear any 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.

You and your co-signer's bank accounts and non-exempt property could be seized by a sheriff and sold at auction to satisfy the judgment.

If you want to protect your co-signer from these collection actions, you can file chapter 13 bankruptcy, assuming that you have regular income and you qualify. If you file chapter 13, there is a "co-debtor stay" that protects your co-signers.

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, your co-signer is protected by the Bankruptcy Court "automatic stay" and cannot be called, sued, or anything else for the co-signed debt, so long as you comply with your plan and pay the plan payments.

If you are not sure of what to do, and you live in the Houston Texas area or surrounding counties, call our law office 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.

J Thomas Black
Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization