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I co-signed for my ex to buy a car. she stopped paying and now they are going after me.

San Diego, CA |

I co-signed for my ex to buy a car. she stopped paying and now they are going after me.

should i have them repossess the car, then pay for the remaining amount, then sue her for it?
what are the chance of me winning the case if i sue her? after i win the case and she won't pay me, what can i do to get the money from her? she gets pay under the table.
file bankruptcy? it's for $11k

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Attorney answers 3


If you allow them to repossess the car, the finance company is going to sell it at a wholesale auction for far less than it would bring if you sold it yourself. The repo will also adversely affect your credit, even if you pay the deficiency (the difference between the loan amount and the auction sale amount, plus the costs related to the repo).

It sounds like getting the money from your ex will be like getting blood for a stone. If you can get the car and take over the payments, that might be the best option.


My colleague is correct. If you end up with the car, there is no need to sue her because you will have the asset you are paying for. If you cannot get the car, sue her. You will win. Even if she gets paid under the table you can attach those monies with a turnover order.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.


If you cannot pay the deficiency balance and you have other debt then you should consider bankruptcy options. This will allow you a fresh start. Your credit will recover quickly in a bankruptcy versus making minimum monthly paymnents for years with nothing to show for it.

Mr. Larkin is licensed to practice law in CA and is located in San Diego. His response here does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. Mr. Larkin strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their own state to acquire more information about the specifics of their case.

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