Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Illinois

Debt collection on Auto declared bankruptcy on

Can a finance company try to collect from the main buyer of an auto loan that the co-signed filed banckruptcy on? The co-signer and buyer bought the car together during a relationship, when it ended, co-signer kept the car. A few years later co-signer stopped making payments and had the car repossed and then filed bankruptcy on the car. Buyer had no knowledge of this and finance company did not contact buyer. Buyer discovered this when attempting to get a home loan the car came up on credit report. Finance company will not allow payment arrangements, wants full amount. At some point the car may have also been refinanced by the co-signer without knowledge of buyer.

Asked on 4/09/01, 11:04 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael R. Nack Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law

Re: Debt collection on Auto declared bankruptcy on

Generally speaking your legal obligations are defined by the terms of the promissory note you signed when you bought the car, and those obligations are not terminated by your co-signor's

Bankruptcy. I am not sure how your co-signor could have refinanced the car if your name was on the title unless your signature was forged in the process of refinancing. In any event, when the car was repossed, the lender had to mail a Notice of Default,a Notice of your right to redeem the car (by paying off the loan plus the costs of the repossession),a Notice of the Resale of the car, a Notice of your obligation to pay any Deficiency Balance due to the lender after applying the resale proceeds to the balance due, and perhaps other Notices. I would need to conduct some research and investigation to determine whether the lender complied with all applicable law and, if not, to determine what your remedies might be. If you do not already have an attorney you may feel free to call me at 314-727-2822 for a free telephone consultation. I would be glad to help you or refer you to someone else if necessary. Thank you.

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Answered on 6/08/01, 11:11 pm

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