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KnowYourRights
KnowYourRights, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 24857
Experience:  Experience protecting consumers against unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent advertising, marketing and financial practices.
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10 years ago i cosigned for a phone for my sister in law

Customer Question

10 years ago i cosigned for a phone for my sister in law with Verizon. This made her an account manager under my social security #. She opened up three phones and ran the bill up to 2300 dollars, then stopped paying. It went to collections years ago but the bills went to her house with my name on the bill. I was totally unaware of this till last year. Verizon says i am liable to pay the bill. Do i have any rights. she says she is bankrupt, broke and cant pay and now wont ever answer the phone. Also Verizon says next year it will be bought by a debt buyer and they will solicit me to pay. Their advice: never cosign for family.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  KnowYourRights replied 6 months ago.

Good morning. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. This is common, when a family member or friend does a favor for someone and they take advatnage. As a co-signor and her having that access, she did take advantage and you can go after her, to pay what is owed. Of course, you would have to sue her to do this, since she is claiming she has no money and is broke. A lawsuit will allow you to get a judgment and then you can enforce it and try and go after her wages or assets, if she has any. As far as the issue with Verizon, you do want to ask to see a copy of the contract and make sure that they were not required to notify you, as a co-signor. I say this because if they failed to give proper notice, you could have a defense to any late fees or charges which were added. Being a co-signor does make you liable and your rights would be to go after your sister in law, for breaking the agreement you had with her .

Expert:  KnowYourRights replied 6 months ago.

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Expert:  KnowYourRights replied 6 months ago.

I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!