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I am being sued for a student loan debt - and I now have a default judgment - what do I do now?

Chicago, IL |

In 2006, I took out loans for college. I graduated in 2008 and have not been able to pay them back - I'm now being sued. I was summoned in CALIFORNIA where my mother lives (who's also CO-SIGNOR) for the debt (I live in Illinois). I don't know how to proceed. In my mother's defense, we let these loans fall by the way-side. She has consistently paid my other loans for the past 8 years but after a while they started to get away from us. I have not been able to find work since 2009 and I was having a hard time dealing with this suit. So...I did not answer. I was not in the state of California and I recently filed bankruptcy but my mother has received a request for default in her name. How do you go about handling this default if it is approved by the court? We have to avoid garnishment.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Best answer

    If your mother co-signed the loan, she is equally responsible for the debt. Without any other information concerning the student loan debt (i.e., what type it is, whether it's been resold or assigned, etc) and what other financial circumstances are at play, I cannot say whether there is a way out of this debt. My suggestion is for your mother to contact a bankruptcy attorney here in CA to see if there is anything that can be done. Also, if she can work out some type of payment plan, it would be worth appearing in the lawsuit to try to negotiate some type of settlement with the creditor. They don't have to settle with her, and considering generally educational debt is not dischargeable in bankruptcy, getting a settlement may be difficult. However, it couldn't hurt to try to strike a deal in order to avoid a default judgment and then wage garnishment.


  2. There isn't anything you can do about it. You defaulted on the loans, and CA is an appropriate jurisdiction since one of the guarantors of the loan (mom) lives there. So, they now obtained a default judgment against you, and they are also going after your mother. Your bankruptcy won't relieve you of the liability for the loans, and garnishment is certainly allowable.

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