9

2 years ago an elderly woman that I helped take care of and I worked for her co-signed for me and my fiance to get a 4 wheeler. We have never missed a payment and Honda will say that we have perfect standing with them.

About a year ago the elderly lady passed and now her daughter wants the 4 wheeler or pay them for the remaing balance to get it off her credit, but we pay our notes. She is threatening to sue us if we don't give her a check asap. We still have a couple of years left and wanted to just finish paying it. I don't believe that Honda finance will entertain this but is there anything she can do?

I don't want my credit ruined for this. We just bought a house and we're trying to get our life started without all of this going on.

  • 1
    I'd reach out to Honda finance, and explain the situation. Ask them for a favor, since you have the track record on your in good standing account. – quid Apr 19 '16 at 21:46
  • 5
    Is the deceased on the title, or just the loan? If she's on the title, the estate owns 1/3 of the ATV. – mkennedy Apr 19 '16 at 22:46
  • How did this flow from the deceased to the daughter? – user662852 Apr 19 '16 at 22:46
  • 13
    If the elderly woman merely co-signed the loan to help you get the loan and didn't put any money down herself or pay you cash to help with the downpayment etc, and you have been making all the loan payments yourself, then woman or her estate or her daughter have no legal claim whatsoever to the 4-wheeler. Co-signing means that the co-signer is on the hook for the payment if the signer defaults on the payments. Since you say you have made all the payments in timely fashion, you don't owe the daughter either the 4-wheeler or any money. Tell her to go ahead and sue. – Dilip Sarwate Apr 19 '16 at 22:52
  • 11
    What do you mean "Get it off her credit"? Do you mean the woman who died? Dead people don't have credit, and credit scores don't get inherited. This doesn't make much sense. – JohnFx Apr 19 '16 at 23:21
8

Co-signing is not the same as owning. If your elderly lady didn't make any payments on the loan, and isn't on the ownership of the car, and there was no agreement that you would pay her anything, then you do not owe either her or her daughter any money.

Also the loan is not affecting the daughter's credit, and the mother's credit is irrelevant (since she is dead). However you should be aware that the finance company will want to know about the demise of the mother, since they can no longer make a claim against her if you default.

I would start by approaching the loan company, telling them about the mother's death, and asking to refinance in your name only. If you've really been keeping up the payments well this could be OK with them. If not I would find someone else who is prepared to co-sign a new loan with you, and still refinance. Then just tell the daughter that the loan her mother co-signed for has been discharged, and there is nothing for her to worry about.

5

People act like lawsuits are the end of the world, her suing shouldn't be considered a threat, it should be considered the accurate course of action to resolve contractual obligations.

Of course, it would be convenient if she did nothing at all!

If you believe her real goal is to "get it off her credit", then have her come refinance with you. This will give you the opportunity to not have her on it and you to get different terms. Of course, if your credit still is poor then this option also exacerbates the inconvenience. None of the options sounds like they will ruin your credit (unless you are scrounging for cash through credit facilities to pay her off).

You have several completely benign options available.

  • 4
    Why does a dead woman care about her FICO score? The daughter doesn't inherit the debt. – JoeTaxpayer Apr 20 '16 at 1:24
  • 5
    @JoeTaxpayer yeah I thought about that, the daughter may have inherited the asset claim. Similarly the lender may have contacted her because of this, with the daughter not knowing she can just tell the lender that he mom is deceased. These are both things I've seen, and they simply need to be handled. – CQM Apr 20 '16 at 3:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.