If I co-signed for a loan for a family member out-of-state, if they defaulted, can my wages be garnished?

UPDATED: Oct 4, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 4, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I co-signed for a loan for a family member out-of-state, if they defaulted, can my wages be garnished?

It was a private student loan that has since been sent to collections. Can the collection agency garnish my wages before first actively trying to get a hold of my relative, who is also gainfully employed?

Asked on October 4, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, the lender can choose to go after you, rather than the recipient of the loan. Being a co-signor does not make you only a "back up" source of funds, if the recipient does not pay; rather, you are one of the two (or more, if there is more than one co-signor) people that that the lender can go after at will in the event of default; the lender can choose to proceed against any of the signors or co-signers it chooses.

If you are sued or suffer some loss, however, you in turn would have the right to sue the family member who took out the loan, to recover the money that he or she should have paid; therefore, if  you do face any consequences or liability, you should speak with an attorney about recovering it from the signor him- or herself.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption