What can I do to get my name off of a bank loanthat I co-signedto purchase a car?

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What can I do to get my name off of a bank loanthat I co-signedto purchase a car?

My daughter’s father could not get a loan in his name alone so I co-signed with him. I am the primary on the auto loan. The car is not driven by myself nor do I make the payments. However, the car has come up with tickets in different states that are in the last process before court, and which are coming in my name. Is my license in jeopardy? Will I be responsible for paying these tickets? And can I do something about getting my name off of this auto loan?

Asked on February 28, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) You can't get off the auto loan--not unless he refinances. A loan is a contract; to modify it, all parties to the contract--including the lender--must agree.  And the lender had no reason to let you off the loan, since doing so will remove a responsible party to which it could look for payment. Hence, unless the loan is refinanced, it is virtually certain you can't get out from under it.

2) If you're getting tickets, then it's not  merely that the  loan is in your name--the car must be titled in your name, too, or jointly in your and his names. (Paying a loan has nothing to do with ownership, and ownership and driving are the only two things that result in tickets.) If it is, then yes, your driving priveleges are at risk if tickets are not paid, but you also have a stake in the car and may be able to take it from him, or possibly at least force its sale. You should speak with an attorney about this situation, bringing all paperwork with you.

(Alternately, if the car is not titled in your name and you're only on the loan, there is a misunderstanding, whether deliberate or accidental, somewhere and an attorney cann help you sort that out, too.)


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