What are a co-signer’s rights to settle on their share of student loan debt?

My husband co-signed for a student loan with his ex wife. In the divorce he agreed to pay half of all outstanding bills. They filed bankruptcy before they divorced. The loan could not be part of the bankruptcy. The bill used to come to our house in both his name and his ex’s. Now it only comes in his. Can my husband negotiate only his part of the bill?

Asked on November 28, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your husband and his former wife filed for bankruptcy protection before their divorce and their debts were discharged with the exception of the student loan, but in the dissolution decree he agreed to oay half of all outstanding bills specifically stated in the divorce decree, he and his former wife are responsible for the entire student loan.

Since he was a co-signer for the loan for his ex wife, he is technically responsible for its entirety if the school desires where he would be entitled to reimbursement from his ex wife for all amounts paid beyond one half. I suggest that he consult with a debt collection lawyer about the question that you are writing about.

If he wants to enter into an agreement with the school about the student loan and his obligation to repay a certain amount, that would be a wise idea. Make sure any agreement is in writing.

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