If I am legally seperated and my “wife” just wrecked and totaled her car with a loan that is in my name, what am I responsible for?

Asked on September 13, 2011 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the loan is in your name, then it doesn't matter whether you are married, separated, divorced, related in some other way, or just friends...all that matters is that you are obligated on a loan you took out in your name. The loan needs to be paid, whether  the car is in existence or totalled; if it is not paid, the lender can sue anyone whose name is on the loan, including you, for the unpaid balance. Assuming that you don't have insurance which will pay this off, you therefore could be facing liability. You should consult with a family or matrimonial law attorney about whether you may in turn have any recourse against your wife if she does  not pay this amount and leaves it for you to pay; and/or whether you should divorce and if you do, can you use any debts she has caused you to incur (like this one) as set offs against anything she may be awarded in the divorce.

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