Can I File Bankruptcy if I Have Co-Signers?

Read Chapter 17 of Attorney Peter Francis Geraci’s “Complete Book on Bankruptcy” below or at

Yes. And you can either discharge your obligation to both the creditor and the co-signer, or pay the creditor to protect your co-signer.

Talk to your co-signer. Perhaps they already filed a bankruptcy with Geraci Law and you don’t have to worry! Perhaps they need to and you can come in with them. You may want to pay that loan to protect your co-signer. Or, your co-signer might say, “Go ahead and file Chapter 7 and I will pay this one off for you” or “I filed bankruptcy myself, so don’t worry, I already got rid of this debt.”

You can also file Chapter 13 and pay a co-signed debt to protect your co-signer. You can file Chapter 7 and still pay the co-signed debt to protect the co-signer. Or you can file either and let the co-signed decide what to do if the creditor goes after them on their guarantee.

Whenever a lender wants a co-signer, they don’t trust the person that wants the loan. Therefore, someone has to agree that if the person who is getting the money does not pay, that the co-signer will make the debt good, and take up the payments.

If you are the person who signed to pay if your friend or relative didn’t you may complain if you are called upon to pay the loan that your friend or relative got. In fact, it may push you over the financial edge.

Therefore, if you have a lot of bills, and now have a problem because of a co-signer, you will want to include that co-signed loan in your list of bills when you come in for your first interview.

If you co-signed, you probably did not want to pay the other person’s loan. In a Chapter 7, you will discharge your liability for the loan. In a Chapter 13, you can set up a special class for co-signer loans, and pay them or not pay them, as you wish.

If other people co-signed for you, you may want to protect them. In a Chapter 7, you will probably want to pay loans that other people co-signed for you on, so that you are protecting your co-signers. Just keep on paying those loans, despite your Chapter 7, if you want to protect your co-signers.

In a Chapter 13, if you want to protect your co-signers, you can set up a special class of creditors for co-signer loans, and propose to pay the co-signer loans ahead of other loans.

Example: Tim works at the Post Office and has 3 co-signers for his credit union loan. The credit union is taking $200 per paycheck out of his check, and Tim has a car payment of $329 per month, and a bunch of other bills, so he needs debt relief.

The Geraci Law Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy Solution: Tim files a Chapter 13 to pay his car and co-signer loan 100%, and can pay his other creditors after the car and co-signer loan are paid. He can also just get rid of all his debt in a Chapter 7, but continue paying the car loan and credit union loan. He will “reaffirm” the car loan, but will not sign a reaffirmation on the credit union loan. He will pay the regular payment on the credit union loan, re-authorizing his payroll deduction.

Dial 1-800-CALL-PFG for a free phone mini-consultation, or make an appointment online 24/7 at  Bankruptcy laws are in place to help you.  Who knows bankruptcy like Geraci Law?  Geraci Law has 30,000 5-star reviews 5starsince November 2016!


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