Can a co-signer be held fully liable for a bill?

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Can a co-signer be held fully liable for a bill?

My mother died about 1 1/2 years ago. I have been paying the funeral home as I can and have paid most of it even by getting loans. I still owe $1750 on the bill. Both my brother and I signed the funeral papers when my mom passed. She had insurance but it wasn’t over 2 years old. So we were left with the expense. My brother has not paid a dime on the bill and I have paid most of it. Can I still be sued.

Asked on January 14, 2013 under Bankruptcy Law, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unless otherwise specifically provided (read the papers that you signed), a co-borrower on a contract can be held liable for 100% of any amounts owed under it. This is called "joint and several liability". Accordingly, you can still be sued no matter how much you have paid to date.

However, you are not without legal recourse here. You can sue your brother in small claims court to recoup any monies that you have paid out on his behalf. Just be sure to bring a copy of the contact and any other papers that you signed with the funeral home, your receipts for the payments that you made and any other relevenat documents.


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