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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Cosigner's Remedies When Borrower Defaults on a Student Loan

    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: California? Michigan? Vermont? New York?

    Hi all. I really appreciate this community and would appreciate any feedback.

    Over 4 years ago, I (American citizen) (stupidly) co-signed a private student loan for a foreign exchange student that we had to attend college in the US. I did this her first year and did not repeat the mistake her subsequent years. At the time I lived in Vermont and she lived in Vermont. Her college was in Michigan. I now live in California. She now lives in New York. The loan is with Citibank Student Loans.

    Now she's graduated from undergrad and has a job. She can no longer defer the loan. We're starting to get calls and letters from Citibank.

    A few years back, she agreed via email to pay off $2000 of the loan by September 2008, which she did. She agreed to pay off the remaining $5000 by December 2009, which she did not. According to Citibank there is still $3000 and some on the loan. She hasn't made a payment since she got out of deferment (December and January).

    I've emailed her, I've called her, I've texted her. I ask her to <i>at least</i> pay the monthly payment. She says "will do!" but does not.

    At this point I've gone back to school as a graduate student and we've had a child - we really can't afford to just pay off that $3000 unless it was going to do such serious damage to my credit that we couldn't handle it otherwise, but we'd probably have to take out a credit card to do so (eek!).

    Relevant facts:
    - Yes, Citibank has her contact information.
    - I am pretty sure that she is currently working in the U.S. illegally. She doesn't have any OPT time left (there is a plan where foreign students can work in the U.S. after graduation and she's used up her time.)
    - I do have this email/Word doc agreement where she said that she'd pay the loan off by December 2009.
    - She has loans co-signed with other American citizens.
    - She has taken on quite a bit of credit card debt too.
    - She is financially irresponsible, spending lots of money on makeup and clothes and not being able to pay rent. She has to ask for help (to other people) to make rent often. This is one of the reasons that I stopped helping her.
    - Her home country is so off the beaten path that there is really no way for her to make enough money there to pay off these loans that she's racked up, much less a banking infrastructure to send money to the companies.
    - I've really removed our family from her life in the past 3 years, while maintaining some relationship. I stopped helping her out financially long ago, although I know that there are other American citizens helping her. I cannot express how much additional financial and emotional help that I've given her beyond this loan.

    Any ideas about my next step to get her to pay off this loan? Is there a magical way to remove my name?

    I'd love to be able to at least threaten her with small claims court to get her to pay. Is her status as an undocumented worker a factor in this?

    Thanks for listening.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Cosigner's Remedies When Borrower Defaults on a Student Loan

    Unfortunately, unless you convince her to pay off the loan, Citibank can come after either one of you. Citibank has no incentive to release you from the loan. You could pay off the loan and sue her in small claims court, but (leaving aside for a moment the distances involved) what are the chances she would pay the judgment?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    249

    Default Re: Cosigner's Remedies When Borrower Defaults on a Student Loan

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    Unfortunately, unless you convince her to pay off the loan, Citibank can come after either one of you. Citibank has no incentive to release you from the loan. You could pay off the loan and sue her in small claims court, but (leaving aside for a moment the distances involved) what are the chances she would pay the judgment?
    Would a Cali small claims court have jurisdiction over her? I don't get the impression from the post that she's ever set foot in Cali.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Cosigner's Remedies When Borrower Defaults on a Student Loan

    I specifically noted the distances involved. You can't sue somebody in California small claims court unless you serve them within California.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Cosigner's Remedies When Borrower Defaults on a Student Loan

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    Unfortunately, unless you convince her to pay off the loan, Citibank can come after either one of you. Citibank has no incentive to release you from the loan. You could pay off the loan and sue her in small claims court, but (leaving aside for a moment the distances involved) what are the chances she would pay the judgment?
    I'd like to threaten her with a small claims suit, but I'd have to pay it off first?

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