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MDLawyer, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 6124
Experience:  10 years in legal practice. Over 5 years in advising clients on landlord/tenant issues, including on a pro bono basis.
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My daughter and best friend could not get an apartment in

Customer Question

My daughter and best friend could not get an apartment in Chicago due to no credit history without a co-signer. They were just out of college, and my daughter is going to grad school. I ended up co-signing on the lease, along with both of them being on the lease. I also paid their rent in full for the year, with the understanding they would pay me monthly, as they would the landlord. My daughter paid me with her student loan. Her roommate paid me for four months, then moved out! I do not have a contract signed by her saying she would pay me back her half of the rent. I do have cancelled checks from her for the months she did pay with "rent" in the memo area. I also have the lease with her name on it. Do I have a chance of getting my money back from her in small claims court? It's right at $7,000 she owes me. Or, did I just learn a very expensive life lesson?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 3 months ago.

Hi Lori. Thank you for using the Just Answer website. I look forward to assisting you. Even though you did not have a specific written agreement with the former roommate, you apparently did have a verbal agreement as evidenced by the checks written to you. If you have that and if you have proof that the rest of the rent was paid by you or your daughter, then you can most certainly sue the former roommate. Of course, even if you get the judgment and win, you then have to collect from her. (I'm not sure what the $400 is in reference to but if you explain, I can address that)

Please let me know if this has answered your question.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
How would I collect from her if she refuses to pay even with a judgment?
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 3 months ago.

In Indiana, the procedure is as follows:

In Indiana, before you can get to the defendant-debtor's property or assets, you need to file Proceedings Supplemental. Here, the debtor is ordered to appear in court and there's a hearing where he has to answer questions under oath about his ability to pay. The court will look at the debtor's financial condition and ask specific questions about where he works, where his bank accounts are located, and what types of personal property he owns and where it's located. Also, if you know the name and address of the defendant-debtor's employer, you can ask the court clerk to send a set of written questions to the employer (called "interrogatories"). The court can use the information given by the employer to determine if you can get some of the defendant's wages to pay your judgment.

After the hearing, the judge may order:

  • The defendant-debtor to pay the judgment in full or in installments
  • The defendant to give the court more information about his employment and income
  • Garnishment of the defendant's earnings or bank accounts
  • Execution against his personal property

If the defendant is ordered to appear in court and refuses to do so, you may ask the court to issue a body attachment. With this, the sheriff will arrest the defendant and he'll be held in jail until a new hearing can be held in the Proceedings Supplemental.

The court clerk can give the forms you need to file Proceedings Supplemental, or you may be able to get them online, depending on county in which you live.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you so much for your help!
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 3 months ago.

You are most welcome. If you could be so kind as to leave a rating as that is the only way that we experts get credited for the time spent assisting you since we are not employees of Just Answer.

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