If I just received a summons from my car lender, how do I answer?

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If I just received a summons from my car lender, how do I answer?

I co-signed for my grandson. I He realized after a month or 2 that he couldn’t keep up payment and surrendered the auto. It was sold but they said that half of the auto cost was still owed. I am 72 and have been supporting a son and grandchild, plus medical bills for myself after having 2 mini-strokes and after care from colon-rectal cancer. My grandson left the state and now lives with his new wife and child. I haven’t an address for them yet. What do I write and how as an answer to this summons?

Asked on November 16, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you cosigned the loan, you really don't have a defense to the case--a cosignor can held liable for the full amount due under a loan. (Either signor could be held liable.) You should submit an answer, otherwise you'll be in default and lose automatically. For exactly what you should write, you would need to actually consult with an attorney for legal advice--advice specific to your summons cannot be provided in this forum, since you are not a client of any attorney here. As a general rule, one thing that can be done, at least to buy some time, is to deny elements of the other side's summons and complaint--you can make the plaintiff (the one suing you) prove their case.

However, that would just buy time. Ultimately, as a cosignor, you effectively don't have any defenses to the loan unless you feel it was fraudulently induced or the lender did not perform their obligations in some significant way.

You can sue your grandchild for his share of the payments. You may also wish to consider bankruptcy as an option for after a judgment is rendered against you.


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