What are a co-signer’s rights to reimursement from a primary signer’s?

UPDATED: May 15, 2012

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What are a co-signer’s rights to reimursement from a primary signer’s?

I am the co-signer on a private Sallie Mae student loan and am about to start making payments on it. How long is too long to wait before suing the primary to get the amount paid back on the loan? Also, if and when I get a judgment against the primary how long is it good for? Is it indefinitely or is there an expiration date on it? I live in one state and the primary lives in another so would I have to file a suit in their state of residence or could I do it here? I guess I am looking to see what options I have available to me to recoup the money I pay on this loan.

Asked on May 15, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Nevada


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If the primary has defaulted (missed or stopped making payments), you can sue whenever you want--as soon as their is a default, you may take legal action.

2) How long the judgment is good for depends on which state you take action in--every state has its own statute of limitations, or time period to enforce, judgments. The shortest one I have seen is 6 years; the longest is 20.

3) You can probably sue in your own state, since you are a party and suffered the loss or damage in your state. If you obtain a judgment in state 1, you can later enforce it in state 2; states are obligated to give "full faith and credit" to their sister state judgments.

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