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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 37824
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate Broker -- Retired (mostly)
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My former roommate and I were listed as defendants, being sued

Customer Question

My former roommate and I were listed as defendants, being sued by an apartment complex we left. The cause/case number XXXXX XXXXX her name, when searched on the courthouse computer, but not mine. The court defaulted judgment to the apartment complex b/c she didn't show at the first court date. I have been in constant contact with those lawyers, updating on my situation b/c I am receiving unemployment benefits and am unable to arrange payment at this time. I just received a letter from my former roommate's new lawyer stating the intent to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Indiana. My question is, if she is successful, will the entire debt be gone or will those lawyers attempt to collect the entire amount from me alone?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 years ago.



If she files for Chapter 7, this will discharge her obligation for the debt to the complex. It will then leave you as the only party liable for the debt. However, since you are not listed as a creditor at the time of the BK, you could sue her for 1/2 of any amount that you are forced to pay. As long as you sue after her BK case was closed, she couldn't claim you as a creditor and have your judgment discharged because she can only file BK every 7 years.





Customer: replied 6 years ago.
This letter I received does state "You may be a creditor of the debtor". So if that is the case, basically she can be relieved entirely of the debt and it falls on me, despite her being the main party?
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 years ago.

As I am not a BK expert, I will send this over to the BK experts to follow up to ensure that you receive the best answer possible.


No need to reply as it will only direct the question back to me. A BK Expert should chime in shortly.






Expert:  socrateaser replied 6 years ago.



My colleague asked me to review your question.


The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that if your roommate files for Chapter 7, and the case is a "no asset" bankruptcy, which means that there is nothing that any creditor could collect, regardless of whether or not they are named as a creditor in the bankruptcy petition, then you would be on the hook for the entire lease, and your former roommate would have no further liability.


You would not be able to sue your former roommate under any circumstances. Only if the roommate has assets that could have been used to pay a portion of your claim would you be able to sue, after being omitted from the bankruptcy petition.


Based on your likely circumstances, I'm betting that this is a "no asset" case, which means that unless you, too, intend to file bankruptcy, that you will be stuck with the entire lease.


Hope this helps.


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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 37824
Experience: Attorney and Real Estate Broker -- Retired (mostly)
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