My mother co-signed car loan for her grandson. Car was repo'ed 7/11/20. As executor of her estate ( she passed in 5/20), I received notice that the car would be sold on 7/29/20. I did not receive that letter prior to the sale date. The estate is in probate process in WV. ( I live out of state).

Is the estate responsible for any remaining debt if the car sold for less than the balance on the loan? The grandson tried to negotiate payments for past due amount but the bank would not even talk to him about it.

  • This is something you need to discuss with your estate attorney to make sure everyone's interests are protected and the contents of the estate are handled appropriately.
    – Eric
    Aug 3, 2020 at 20:14

1 Answer 1


Is the estate responsible for any remaining debt if the car sold for less than the balance on the loan?

Yes, as well as the grandson (assuming he is the cosigner). My guess is the "deal" he tried to make with the bank was not satisfactory when they know they can more likely get the full amount from the estate. Or he is lying to you hoping to get out of the debt.

  • Interesting. Say it was a 5 year loan, and mom died months after signing. What happens if the estate is settled and a year or two later, the payments stop? Is it the executor’s job to track down what the deceased may have co-signed for any friends or relatives? Aug 3, 2020 at 3:40
  • 2
    It is the executor's job to make a reasonable attempt to establish the estate's obligations and to notify potential creditors. But, of course, perfection is not required. Often, a public notice is required and the lender may or may not see it and file. If the lender does not file and a public notice has been made as required, then the lender cannot claim against the estate once the time period for claims ends. Aug 3, 2020 at 5:29
  • @DavidSchwartz As of a quarter century ago I found most debt collectors were very sloppy about filing with the court. In dealing with my mother's estate a few of the bills the creditor listened and filed properly and eventually got paid. Most got turned over to debt collectors--and none of them listened when I told them it was an estate situation and they had to file with the court. In the end no debt collector saw a penny. Feb 20, 2023 at 22:08

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