Can a debt collector sue my husband for his ex-wife's auto loan for which he cosigned


(Texas)

My husband cosigned for an auto loan for his ex wife in 1996. She stopped making payments in 2000 after the divorce and it was repossessed and sold at an auto auction. I just received a call (Sept. 2011) that they were trying to collect the amount not covered by the sale, $7,000 plus interest since then, another $6,000+. They've tried reaching the ex but since they couldn't they're threatening to sue my husband. Can they do this? What options do we have? Thanks

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Nov 23, 2011
Can a debt collector sue my husband for his ex-wife's auto loan for which he cosigned
by: Debtcollectionanswers.com

When a car is repossessed and sold at auction for less than the amount owed on the vehicle, the outstanding balance is referred to as a deficiency. That is what the collector wants your husband to pay.

Because he co-signed for his ex's auto loan, he is responsible for paying the deficiency. However, depending on exactly when the car was sold, the statute of limitations on that debt has expired. The SOL is the period of time during which a consumer can be sued for a debt that he or she owes and it begins on the date that the first payment on the debt was missed. Based on the dates in your question, I assume that the car was sold many years ago, which would mean that the SOL on the deficiency has expired. I am not an attorney, so I recommend contacting a consumer law attorney in your area who helps people resolve debt collection problems to confirm that it has expired.

If I am correct about the SOL on the deficiency having expired, your husband is not at risk for being sued for the money and so he may want to write the collector a letter telling him not to contact him again about the debt. This kind of letter is referred to as a cease contact letter. Your husband does not have to put any special language in the letter. He should just state that he does not want to be contacted about the debt again, and he should include the account number related to the debt or other identifying information, as well as his name and address. Your husband should make a copy of the letter for your files and mail the letter certified mail with a return receipt requested.

Once the collector receives the letter he is legally obligated not to contact your husband about the money again. If the collector does, the collector has violated federal law and your husband should talk with a consumer law attorney in your area about possible legal recourse.



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