What to do about a judgment for a lease if I never gave the required deposit or took residencein theapartment?

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What to do about a judgment for a lease if I never gave the required deposit or took residencein theapartment?

My son was going to go off to college. However I lost my job months before and so when it came time for him to go we could not afford it. He was 17 at the time he signed the lease and I co-signed. They ran my credit and needed a security deposit, which we never gave them. Now I’am getting hit with a judgement against me.

Asked on August 15, 2011 Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your situation is the unfortunate result of co-signing an obligation for the person who actually was to receive the benefit of the agreement that you signed for. When one co-signs a lease, loan or other agreement for some one, the co-signer is also obligated on the terms of the agreement that may not be completed per the terms of the primary obligor under it.

If there is a judgment against you under this lease that you co-signed for your son, then you were served with the summons and complaint. Either you answered the summons and complaint, went to trial, and lost resulting in a judgment, or you did not answer the summons and complaint served upon you in the required time period and a default and default judgment were entered against you.

Potentially you could possibly set aside the default judgment due inavertance, mistake and excusable neglect. If you cannot, you are obligated to pay on this judgment. If you cannot pay on the judgment, the judgment creditor will most likely try executing on your assets for payment for this judgment.

You should consult with an attorney about your situation. In lease situations, the landlord has an obligation to mitigate damages due to the breach of the agreement by renting out the unit that was never occupied by your son to another person. Potentially the landlord is trying to obtain a double rental return if your son's leased unit is rented out to another person for the same term.

Good luck.


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