I am trying to find out what the process is for sueing someone if you are a cosigner and they defaulted. My ex husband cosigned my name on a car electronically while we were married and since I was his wife I did not say anything about it. During our separation I lost contact with him and therefore during the divorce I had to accept uncontested because I couldn't even find him and therefore could not separate property. He stopped paying on the car and the loan has gone into collections. They are willing to settle with me. If I pay it off will I be able to sue my ex husband in small claims court? How would this work if I do not know where he is, would I need to get a private investigator and locate him first? If I sue him will that guarantee I will get my money back? Thank you for any information you can provide
1 Answer from Attorneys
The easiest way to resolve this matter, if you can find him through a private detective, etc., is to have him served through the divorce action to make him responsible for this bill since you were married when he incurred it. If the property and debts were not resolved in the divorce these issues should have been reserved. There would be no need to file a separate lawsuit in small claims court. You would have to be able to have him served in some form pursuant to state law and local rules in order to proceed with this matter. Going after him for this debt either through divorce or otherwise may not guarantee he pays, although a family court judge may be able to make this happen.
It may also be possible you could make that claim with the collection agency and the original creditor. This will not be easy and I suggest on either matter you consult with an attorney.