Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Georgia

I cosigned on a car for my ex girlfriend and they payed off my truck and added the remaining ballance into the car loan. We never had a written or verbal agreement that i would pay the ballance from my truck, she kept the car and is now coming after me wanting me to pay her the money and is threating to take me to court.

Asked on 8/12/13, 7:10 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Scott Riddle Law Office of Scott B. Riddle, LLC

What is your question? Obviously, it was a poor decision to co-sign and to do it without a written agreement, but if you got something out of the deal why not pay her back? You would need a written settlement agreement with her, and if there is still a balance on the loan you would want the money to go to the lender to pay that loan off since you are still on the hook. This is the result of doing a deal like this.

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Answered on 8/12/13, 7:37 am

Never ever co-sign anything. Its a story that always ends badly.

However, I agree with Attorney Riddle here. If your truck was paid off as part of the car loan, then you did get something. Girlfriend was not obligated to pay for YOUR truck. I think you have a moral obligation to repay her for the money that you got.

You do not indicate - has girlfriend totally repaid the car loan or not? If not, then you need to play nice with her or else she can default on the car loan and the car lender is going to come after you for the money. So you will end up paying one way or another. If you don't trust girlfriend (who is probably well on her way to being an ex-girlfriend by now) then make arrangements to take over the payments directly.

If the car has already been paid off, then you probably are off the hook legally. However, small claims court goes up to $12,000 in GA and district magistrates have a way of doing whatever the hell they want sometimes regardless of the law. While you have no express contract, the fact is that your truck was paid for and rolled into the purchase price of the loan. These facts can be established through documentation. It is not a huge stretch from there to say that you need to repay the funds you received based on an implied contract or unjust enrichment.

Rather than have her sue you, I would work out some kind of agreement. However, be smart this time and get it in writing or get a lawyer to create one for you. Just repay what you received and maybe have a reasonable rate of interest. Look around and see what lenders are offering on car notes and use that as a guide.

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Answered on 8/13/13, 12:52 am
Robert Gardner Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP

If she does take you to court, the question as to whether or not you would need to pay her any money would be up to a judge or jury. As there is no written agreement specifying what, if any you should pay or what she would get, this will be an issue of fairness. If part of the loan was used to pay off debt on a vehicle you are keeping, then fairness would dictate that some of the obligation should be paid by you. Additionally, the creditor will consider that you are both on the hook for the debt without regards to any apportionment. If you want to keep this from being determined by a third party, you should make her an offer based on real figures and facts and work something out in a reasonable manner. Otherwise, it will end up out of your hands.

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Answered on 8/13/13, 8:03 am

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