Joint & Several Liability – What does this mean?

Written by PayPlan on 9 May 2011

If you take out a credit agreement in joint names, with your partner for example, then you may or may not be aware that you are both liable for the full amount of credit that you borrowed. This blog will go through all you need to know about Joint & Several Liability.

Several Liability?

When a credit agreement is signed by more than one person, then all of those that signed the agreement are liable for the full amount of credit borrowed. This is usually common with husbands and wives taking out a loan together. Most people do not think both parties are liable, they assume that they can only be chased for half.

If you have a credit card and you both have a card for that account, this is not a joint debt. Whoever took out the original agreement is liable for the debt, while the other is simply a cardholder.

With utilities and council tax, regardless of whose name appears on the bill, both of you will be liable to for any debts on the accounts.

What happens if…

I split up with my partner?You will both still be required to make payments towards the debt. If you both stop payments then you both will be chased.

My partner goes bankrupt? Your partner will be discharged from the debt by the creditor. The creditor will then chase you for the remaining amount of credit on the account.

My partner enters into an IVA? Your partner will pay a percentage of the debt back and then your creditor will chase you for whatever is outstanding on the account.

My partner enters in a DMP? Your partner will pay a certain amount each month towards the debt, but the creditors will chase you for the full contractual payment.

If you are worried about a debt that you have jointly with someone then you can speak to one of our specialists on 0800 280 2816


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This article was checked and deemed to be correct as at the above publication date, but please be aware that some things may have changed between then and now. So please don't rely on any of this information as a statement of fact, especially if the article was published some time ago.

2 thoughts on “Joint & Several Liability – What does this mean?”

  • Paul

    May 14, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    If you and your partner have split and both
    Have debts in seperate names but pay jointly
    Can the whole debt be split into half each no
    Matter who’s name may be on the credit
    Card etc?

    • Gemma

      May 15, 2012 at 10:37 am

      The person who’s name the debt is in is liable for the debt regardless of how the debt occurred or how you are currently paying. If you are both happy paying half then you can continue to do this,however should either one of you stop paying, the named account holder would be chased for the debt.

      I hope this makes sense Paul, let me know if you would like any more information.

      Gemma

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