Co-signer Responsibility

My daughter at age 20 co-signed a rental lease agreement with her boyfriend at the time; they left the apartment before the lease expired. Now she's being hounded by debt collectors almost 7 years later.

Comments for Co-signer Responsibility

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Apr 14, 2010
by: Gerri

Thanks for submitting your debt collection question on our Q&A page.

Unfortunately, it sounds like your daughter has learned a tough and painful lesson about cosigning. When you cosign, you agree to be 100% liable for the bill if the other borrower doesn't pay. (I doubt the fact that your daughter was 20 years old has any bearing here since you can typically enter into a contract once you turn 18. I am not an attorney though, and can't offer legal advice.)

The relevant issues here seem to be whether the statute of limitations has expired on this debt, and whether the amount the collector is trying to collect is accurate.

I would encourage your daughter to at least
read the first chapter of Debt Collection Answers online for free so she has a basic understanding of her rights when dealing with this debt collector.

She can request written verification of the debt if she's been contacted by them recently, and she can dispute the debt if she doesn't believe it's correct. We detail these rights in our e-book.

I would also encourage her to make sure that she keeps good records. She can use our Free Debt Collection Worksheet to take notes after every phone conversation with a debt collector.

She should also review copies of or credit reports to see whether this debt is being reported. Collection accounts may not be reported more than 7 1/2 years after she first fell behind on the account. That's true whether the account is paid or not.

Please let us know how this turns out for her.

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