If I co-signed on an auto loan for my then girlfriend and she subsequently stopped making payments, what are my rights against her?

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If I co-signed on an auto loan for my then girlfriend and she subsequently stopped making payments, what are my rights against her?

Co-signed about 5 years ago but I have not spoken to her in about 3 years. She drove the car and made all payments. The bill was sent to her house. When she stopped making payments the bank was sending letters and phone calls to her house. They repossessed the car. I never received any call or letter regarding payments not being made on the car. I have since made payments to the bank to have the car released and plan to sell the car to mitigate my loss. Could I sue my ex in small claims court? I believe has a co-signer on the account she has a responsibility to contact me if she cannot make payments.

Asked on March 2, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a co-signer of a loan, the other signer (i.e. your ex-girlfriend) can be legally held responsible for the payments that they should have made.  In your situation, while you appear to have legal grounds to sue, the outcome of any case is never certain.  Additionally, there may be details of your case not presented here.  That having been said, In MI small claims is the correct forum if the amount in question is $3,000 or less.  Since some time has elapsed, you need to act immediately, there are certain limitations periods that may come into play.


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