If I was held jointly and severally liable forthe payment of restitution and no one else is paying their share, do I have to pay all?

UPDATED: May 23, 2011

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If I was held jointly and severally liable forthe payment of restitution and no one else is paying their share, do I have to pay all?

I was ordered to pay 58,000+ in joint and several restitution with 26 other co-defendants; who were also convicted on other idictments and paying restitution on those as well. I have paid over $4,000 on the one case I was convicted on, while the other defendants have paid maybe $400-$500 all together. This was on a bank fraud case in MO (I now reside in IL) which I netted a total of 7,000 on due to a lapse in judgement trying to fix my broken down car in my early twenties. I’m now 36 and I’m facing a lien on my house and the garnishing of me my wife’s joint tax refund.

Asked on May 23, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The judgment creditor--the person who obtained the judgment, and to whom you and the others owe the money--can proceed against you for some, most, or all it; when there is joint and several liability, each of the judgment debtors can be forced to pay the whole judgment by the judgment creditor.

However, you may very well have a right against your co-debtors, to force them to contribute to paying the judgment, if you find youself finding a disproportionate share. You should consult with an attorney, who can evaluate all the specifics of your situation, to see what your rights are in this case. You may also wish to discuss with the attorney whether bankruptcy might be a good solution or option for you. Good luck.

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