Waterville, ME asked in Civil Litigation and Banking for California

Q: CaliforniaAbout 13 years ago I financed a car with my finance. She was the first signer on loan and I was the second

A year later we broke up and I lost my job so I wanted to take the car back to the dealer and see about getting out of the loan somehow. My ex told me not to do that because he didn’t want a repossession on his record and said to give the car over to him and that he would continue paying for it. I did exactly that and I tried to sign myself out of the loan, but was told that I can’t do that and that only my finance can do that as the main signer on the loan…. Since we were on very bad terms at that point, I just left everything as is.

Fast forward to middle of this year, my employer tells me that they received a wage garnishment order for me and that is how I learned that the bank has been looking for me since 2018 to recover almost 10k that I owe for the car that I haven’t seen in 12 years and don’t even have any info on. They supposedly attempted to serve me at some random addresses that I haven’t lived at since very long time ago and eventually there was a default judgement that

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Business Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, when you co-sign a loan, you're equally responsible for the debt. This means that if the primary borrower defaults, the lender can pursue you for payment. Since your ex-partner defaulted and you were a co-signer, the lender has the legal right to seek repayment from you.

Regarding the wage garnishment, if you were not properly served with legal papers for the lawsuit resulting in the default judgment, you might have grounds to challenge it. California law requires that defendants in a lawsuit be properly notified. If you were not, this could be a basis to potentially have the judgment set aside.

It's crucial to act quickly in these situations. Seeking legal advice from an attorney experienced in consumer debt issues would be advisable. They can help you understand your rights and options, which may include negotiating with the lender or challenging the garnishment and judgment in court.

Remember, dealing with such legal matters can be complex, and every situation is unique. Legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances is essential.

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