Last year, I co-signed on a apartment for a friend. We grew apart, and last week she told me she got eviction papers. The lease expired at the end of May, so I thought I wasn't tied to apartment anymore. After discussing the situation with the leasing office, they had me as a co-occupant and not a co-signer; and that she hasn't signed a new lease to she's renting month-to-month. I reconciled the late rent in order to prevent the eviction for this month, but I have no faith that my former friend will make next months rent and this will become an issue again. I'm trying to find out what I can do to protect myself and my credit.
- Does the co-signer vs co-occupant designation mean anything?
- Since the lease expired, and my signature was for the duration of the lease, does that matter?
- If my former friend won't sign a new lease without me on it, is there anything I can do to force the issue?
Thank you for your help,
You need to read the actual lease. If the lease actually terminates after a year, then you are off the hook. However, most leases provide that the lease continues month to month if the tenant does not leave at the end of the lease. This means that the lease continues in effect until your friend moves out.
Here is the usual speech - never cosign for any obligation that you don't intend to pay. If the creditor believed that the primary borrower was actually going to pay the debt, they would not have required a cosigner. When you cosign the debt, you are betting that you know more than the creditor does. You are usually going to turn out to be mistaken.
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