What to do about a car loan on which my signature was forged?

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What to do about a car loan on which my signature was forged?

A year a half ago I intended to be the co-signor of an auto loan for a friend. However the office was taking so long with the paperwork that I left and did not sign the loan to be a co-signer. Apparently when I left, someone signed my name on the dotted line, and now that my friend has not paid for the last few months, they are contacting me for payment. They have threatened to garnish my wages. Do I have the right to say I’m not truly the co-signer as I was not the one that signed my name on the dotted line, suppossedly “on my behalf”. What will happen?

Asked on May 18, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You absolutely have the right to raise as a defense that you did not sign this loan agreement. A person must agree to accepting any obligations, such as to repay a loan; they cannot have those obligations imposed on them without their agreement, knowledge or consent, and a forged signature does not bind a person.

However, you will need to be able to prove this. This means you may need not just your own testimony, but also the testimony of other people (e.g. that you were somewhere else when the loan was signed) or other evidence that would support you not being there; you might also need a handwriting expert to show it's not your signature. You should consult with an attorney about how best to make your case.


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