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My ex husband put my name on his car loan as the co signer without me knowing.
What can I do?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Rupert Morrish, Dilip Sarwate, Vicky, Chris W. Rea, Bob Baerker Feb 1 at 3:36

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    This is unclear. Did he place your name as co-signer while you were married, or after your divorce? Did you sign it? You say you didn't know, but that doesn't necessarily mean you didn't sign it. – ChrisInEdmonton Jan 31 at 22:12
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a legal question. – Vicky Jan 31 at 23:40
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    "What can I do" is not a legal question. – gnasher729 Jan 31 at 23:58
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    Voting to reopen as the answer provided succinctly deals with actions required, notwithstanding that there are some unanswered queries for the OP to provide as detail. – Grade 'Eh' Bacon Feb 1 at 18:49
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    You can log in again and edit your question to add details. You can see we are guessing on relevant facts. – Harper Feb 1 at 18:52
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First, ask the company who claims you are a cosigner to forward a copy of the document showing your handwritten signature (A: to verify you didn't actually sign it, and B: so you have evidence of ID theft). If they can't, write them a letter, return receipt requested, you are not liable until they provide proof (and maintain a copy for your records plus any responses they provide). If you did sign, you are liable for the loan and responsible for the debt. In this case, get in writing from the loan company the "settlement in full" amount (if it does not say that the amount is settlement in full, don't pay it). Write a check and make sure the account is CLOSED! Make sure the letter clearly states to close the account and remove your name as a cosigner. As always, return receipt requested and keep a copy of the settlement in full letter to you, the letter you send, image of the check that went with it, and any response they provide.
If it's not your signature, do you have ID theft protection? If so, report it to them and they can guide you through the process. If not your signature and you do not have ID theft protection, report it to police to get a report that this was ID theft. This will require reporting your ex to police (Do not lie about or intentionally leave out anything, or you'll be guilty of falsifying a statement to police). Write a letter to the loan company stating you are a victim of ID theft, you are not legally responsible for the debt and any attempts to collect will be treated as harassment for which you will pursue legal action. Return receipt requested. Provide a copy of the report. Keep a copy of everything you send and receive.
Unfortunately most debt collectors don't have brains and will continue to harass you unless you pay it. Keep a record of all written correspondence and calls (dates, times, what was said). If it gets excessive or goes on for months, retain a group like collection bully.

Some resources about how to deal with collectors: https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/get-rid-of-debt-collectors https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/the-truth-about-debt-collectors https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/debt-collectors-get-money

The most important thing is to deal with it immediately. This will keep coming back to haunt you if you ignore it. As the articles indicate, NEVER give electronic access to your accounts and don't let them get you worked up.

  • Great answer Adam. – Pete B. Feb 1 at 11:23
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    Pretty much sums it up. In short: you can not add someone as cosigner WITHOUT A SIGNATURE. Either this is "oh, i forgot i signed it", or it is a criminal behavior with forgery (or unlikely there is no signature at all). – TomTom Feb 1 at 11:54
  • @TomTom: There is a third possibility: signature by power of attorney. That would really only be possible during the marriage (divorce proceedings tend to nullify such powers) and then one wonders why the divorce judgement didn't handle the situation (both ownership of car and responsibility for payments). – Ben Voigt Feb 2 at 1:27
  • That is extremely unlikely. But I agree, it is a possibility. – TomTom Feb 2 at 8:19
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You call whoever issued the car loan, and tell them that you did NOT sign this document. And that if there is a signature that looks like yours it is a forgery. That is if you want to get your husband into trouble. Which would be very understandable.

I noticed you wrote "x husband" which I assume means ex-husband. So tell the issuer of the loan, and tell the police.

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Possibly, if the car was purchased during the marriage.

If it was after the marriage, he cannot make you liable. When exactly the marriage ended varies by state.

If it happened during the marriage, the divorce court should have made a decision about who got the car and who got the payments. For obvious reasons, they usually make this the same person! So it is unlikely they would award him the car and you the payments.

You should tell this company quite definitely that you are divorced and you are not liable for his debts. Yelling at them on the phone does absolutely nothing. you need to do it in writing. From your post I am guessing that writing is not your profession, so you might use your county's legal aid society to have someone help write that letter for you.

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    I don't think the court has the authority to just remove a co-signer from a loan during a divorce. If they can I'd be pretty mad as a lender. – JohnFx Feb 1 at 3:02
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    As far as I can see, there's nothing to say whether this happened during the marriage or after. – TripeHound Feb 1 at 8:06
  • Even if it happens during the marriage- that is not how it works. She may be liable for debt during the marriage, but that does not magically make her signature appear as co-signer on the paperwork without her knowing. She may be responsible, but that is different from her signature being forged. – TomTom Feb 1 at 11:54
  • @TomTom so you say, and so I thought too, but I got an education to the contrary from the referenceI did link. Apparently she is liable for debt acquired during the marriage. – Harper Feb 1 at 18:34
  • @JohnFx presumably the lender gets legal notice of the divorce and thus is able to file a motion as needed. I agree a judge shouldn't remove an explicit cosigner, but we would be talking about someone who is not a cosigner in any way except having been married to the signer at the relevant time. That will be highly dependent on state law. – Harper Feb 1 at 18:38

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