Can I be held responsible for a debit my ex-wife co-signed on?

Asked about 2 years ago - Colville, WA

I just got divorced in WA and a receieved a negative credit alert that two collections were posted to my account. The one I am most concerned with is the one in which she co-signed for someone for a car. Per the legal rules they can go after me if contractual privity exists (which does not because I was not party to the debt) or if the marital community benefited from the debt (in this case, since it was a co-signed loan, there was no benefit to the marital community).
Can someone clarify/support this? I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Peter Joseph Lamont


    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I suggest you speak to a local attorney as soon as possible. However, in New Jersey if you are the co-signer on a loan and the other party fails to pay, you are responsible. Bankruptcy is one option. I have attached a link to our guide to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. If this answer is helpful, please mark it as helpful or best answer. Your feedback is appreciated.

    If you found this Answer helpful, please mark it as "Best Answer". Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Peter... more
  2. Justin D Kelly

    Contributor Level 7


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Check with a local BK attorney as soon as possible. Washington is a community property state, so there could be CP nuances or language in your Marital Settlement Agreement/Divorce Decree that specifically addresses your liability. You should bring a copy of your MSA/DD to the bankruptcy attorney.

    Best of luck!

Related Topics

Cosigners and bankruptcy

Cosigners can run into trouble if the borrower declares bankruptcy. An automatic stay won't help a cosigner, but some bankruptcy chapters offer codebtor stays.

Thomas O. Moens

Thinking of Co-Signing a Loan?

Many people have a misconception that as a co-signer, you are not responsible for the debt, or you are less responsible than the primary borrower. Unfortunately, co-signers are just as... more


There are different types of debt, but all involve one person (the debtor) owing money to another (the creditor). Terms of repayment are governed by a contract.

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