ex cosigned loan

My Ex Cosigned A Loan Without My Knowledge

Goldberg Jones Divorce, Finances, Goldberg Jones Radio Leave a Comment

Splitting up assets and debts is one of the most complicated parts of a divorce. In general, any debt built up during a marriage belongs to both spouses. The courts view it as the equal responsibility of you and your ex. That doesn’t mean you divide it in half, but it does mean you bear some responsibility for that amount. Even if you didn’t know about it. Like, what if your spouse cosigned a loan without your knowledge?

A lot goes into dividing debt after a marriage end and determining who is responsible for what. At the end of the day, you may owe money you didn’t know about. That said, depending on the circumstances, you may have a case to protect yourself.

Rick Jones, one of our founding partners, regularly appears on the Danny Bonaduce and Sarah Morning Show. On the air, he takes family law questions from listeners. During a recent show, a woman finds herself in this predicament. Before they separated, her ex cosigned a loan. She wants to know if this will come back on her.

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Listen to the Conversation Below:

Caller: “Prior to my separation from my husband, I found out recently that he co-signed for a $40,000 student loan and I had no idea about it. I didn’t even know my son was applying for a student loan. [M]y question is, am I going to be blind-sided in the courts, and is this going to become marital debt? I didn’t make this decision and didn’t have anything to do with it. So is it going to bite me in the butt later?”

Rick: “This one has two parts to it. To the extent it was a kind of a debt engaged while community, even though the two of you weren’t a part of it–as long as it’s not considered a waste of community assets–then it’s likely to be looked at as a community obligation.

“One thing that I’m hearing is that he [cosigned a loan]. In other words, it’s a student loan with your child’s name on it and it’s the young adult’s responsibility. The debt or the obligation is only going to happen if that young adult defaults on [the loan].

“So right now, is it something that’s likely to appear on your credit report, and the answer [to your question] is yes? Is it something that you’re likely to be able to just get it taken off? No.

“The other thing though is that [your ex] is likely the first person they go to. So if it’s his signature on it, and the two of you are no longer married, it’s going to be easier or more convenient for whoever the lender is, to go after your husband.

“They’d have to dig deeper. They would have to say, ‘Oh gosh, he’s single now, I wonder if he was married two years ago? And if so, who is his ex-wife, and can we reach out to her too?’ So, you’re down the line in terms of who might be hurt by this.”

Related Reading8 Signs She Might Be Hiding Assets in Divorce

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