I co-own a vehicle with someone and they totaled it without insurance, can I sue them for the remainder of the loan?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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I co-own a vehicle with someone and they totaled it without insurance, can I sue them for the remainder of the loan?

So I co-signed on a vehicle with my ex-boyfriend a few years back. Apparently, I was put down as the co-owner of the vehicle, but the car was his. He drove it, he took care of insurance for it, everything. Back in May, he got into an accident where the car was totaled. He was very dishonest with me about all of it but told me hat he had insurance on the car when I asked. After doing my own research, I found out he let the insurance lapse and now the remaining balance of the car is owed to the loan company. Am I able to take him to court to recover the remaining costs of the car? Since the accident he stopped making payments and just completely walked away, leaving everything in my hands.

Asked on September 24, 2018 under Accident Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You could sue him for his share of the amount owed. If you were co-owners, you were 50-50 owners; while the bank/lender can go after anyone on the loan for the money, each owner has the right to proceed against the other for his/her share, based either on the loan agreement (which is a contract) and/or on the equitable or fair use the other person made of the car. So since you are both on the  car's title, you can't make him pay 100%, but have a reasonable case to get half the money from him.

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