How to get reimbursed for a car loan that I signed foranotherbut they stopped making payments on?

UPDATED: Aug 27, 2011

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How to get reimbursed for a car loan that I signed foranotherbut they stopped making payments on?

I helped my son and his wife get a truck. Unfortunately they got a divorce. I wanted to send it back but she said that she would sign a contract stating that she was to make the monthly payments; if not then the truck get repossessed. Well she did stop paying. So then I got a bill in the mail for $6,000. I can’t pay that. My husband passed away and I am on a fixed income. What am I to do? Do I take her to court and have a judge make her pay or do I try to pay then take her to court? Ifyou can help me and point me in the right direction it would mean a lot.

Asked on August 27, 2011 Maine


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your husband.

You received the $6000 bill because as a co-signer for the truck loan, you are liable.

Don't pay the loan.  You should sue your ex-daughter-in-law for breach of contract for failure to pay the loan.  If you obtain a court judgment against your ex-daughter-in-law, you should also obtain a wage garnishment against her to be certain that she will pay. 

If you are sued by the lender and served with a summons and complaint (the complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons), you will need to file an answer to the complaint prior to the deadline set forth in the summons.  The answer to the complaint denies the allegations in the complaint.  If you don't timely file the answer to the complaint with the court, you will lose by default and will then need to file a motion to set aside the default.

Until you are served with a summons and complaint by the lender, don't worry about the lender.  Your focus at this time should be on suing your daughter-in-law.

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