Co-signer Judgement?
Click here for Top Ten Discussions. CLICK HERE for Q & A Homepage
Receive Free Rental Owner Updates Email:  
MrLandlord Q & A
Co-signer Judgement? (by Joshua [IA]) Jun 27, 2014 11:52 AM
       Co-signer Judgement? (by OPM [OR]) Jun 27, 2014 12:11 PM
       Co-signer Judgement? (by LuckyURE [IA]) Jun 27, 2014 12:42 PM
       Co-signer Judgement? (by Mike45 [NV]) Jun 27, 2014 1:33 PM
       Co-signer Judgement? (by JM [CA]) Jun 27, 2014 9:20 PM
       Co-signer Judgement? (by Ed [PA]) Jun 28, 2014 3:03 PM
       Co-signer Judgement? (by Joshua [IA]) Jun 28, 2014 5:57 PM

Co-signer Judgement? (by Joshua [IA]) Posted on: Jun 27, 2014 11:52 AM

State Specific Question About: ILLINOIS (IL)

Hello everyone, a tenant of mine moved out and left the apartment a mess. I sued and won a judgement against that tenant but have doubts that she will pay.

However, that tenant had a co-signer that I believe will pay to protect his credit. I would have sued both but the co-signer is across the river in Illinois and I sued in Iowa which would not allow me to sue a tenant from another state.

So my question is, is there a way that I can use my current judgement in Iowa and receive a default judgement on the co-signer across the way without having to go through the whole lawsuit again a second time?

Thanks for your time and consideration of my question.

Co-signer Judgement? (by OPM [OR]) Posted on: Jun 27, 2014 12:11 PM

Just as a thought....

This person is not your tenant but a guarantor for your former tenant...

Iowa so if the prohibition is against tenants it would not apply to a guarantor...

However as you point out.. you may be able to get a judgement in Iowa... and then go to Ill...

Always have an atty...

Co-signer Judgement? (by LuckyURE [IA]) Posted on: Jun 27, 2014 12:42 PM

The case was a general small claims and nothing to do with real estate other than why I was suing them (damage to the unit) and so I would think would have no bearing just as if I had file suit against someone for damaging my car.

Is it possible there is a way to get the co-signer without having to go through the whole process again my state by default just by showing proof of having a co-signer?

They did buy a house in Iowa recently, that they bought for my former tenant, and so I could probably put a lien on it and that would ensure I receive my money, someday anyway. =)

Co-signer Judgement? (by Mike45 [NV]) Posted on: Jun 27, 2014 1:33 PM

You MIGHT find that you lost your right to go after the co-signor by suing only the tenant. This is a pretty technical issue, involving the exact status of the co-signor -- a true co-signor or a guarantor or ...??? But as a general rule, you cannot "split your cause of action" by suing only one of the two responsible parties at a time.

You need to consult with an attorney in Iowa about the applicable Iowa law, and maybe about the IL law.

Your proper course in the first instance might have been to sue both the tenant and the "co-signor" in Iowa, but in the next higher court, which would have allowed you to sue the IL resident.

Co-signer Judgement? (by JM [CA]) Posted on: Jun 27, 2014 9:20 PM

I would first go with the old "run the bluff". You contact the co-signers and tell them the tenant X skipped out and you had to take them to court to get a judgement against them (which you won). Before you take them to court you are wondering if they would like to pay up with out all the drama of court. When you win in court again it will go againt there credit score just as it has with the former tenant. Only costs a stamp....for more drama you could hire a process server and have them served at their place of employment. This will be a loud shot across the bough.

Good luck

Co-signer Judgement? (by Ed [PA]) Posted on: Jun 28, 2014 3:03 PM

Should've had both names on the original suit. Contact the co-signor and ask for payment. If they have good credit they will likely pay. If they don't, you can always use a collection agency even without a judgment to try to collect. The only downfall is they take 30% of money collected but in this game some money is better than no money.

Co-signer Judgement? (by Joshua [IA]) Posted on: Jun 28, 2014 5:57 PM

Thanks everyone for your replies! Looks like I learned a lesson about needing to sue BOTH of them no matter where they live in my state at the same time.

I like JM(CA)'s idea about firing a shot across the bow. I may try that and have them served. However, I'm afraid of the language I might use being potentially illegal in terms of coming across as a threat.

Any ideas or examples of what I might say?

Subject: RE: Co-signer Judgement?
Your Name:
Your State:

Co-signer Judgement?
Would you like to be notified via email when somebody replies to this thread?
If so, you must include your valid email address here. Do not add your address more than once per thread/subject. By entering your email address here, you agree to receive notification from every time anyone replies to "this" thread. You will receive response notifications for up to one week following the original post. Your email address will not be visible to readers.
Email Address: