Pay ex's parking tickets on co-signed car?

Tara Baukus MelloDear Driving for Dollars,
Ages ago, I co-signed for my then-boyfriend's car loan. The boyfriend is long gone, and his car was repossessed. Now, years later, I'm receiving a letter asking me to pay more than $500 in parking tickets. Is there anything I can do to protect my credit, or am I doomed to pay it?
-- Cristina

Dear Cristina,
It is interesting how a co-signed car loan can follow you around for years, isn't it? Regardless of who was driving, parking tickets are typically associated with the car and sent to the registered owners, based on the license plate number.

As a co-signer, you also must have been listed on the car's title, making you part owner. This isn't always the case when you co-sign a car loan. As a result, the parking tickets are your responsibility in much the same way the car loan was. You can try calling and talking to the agency requesting payment to see if you can get the charges removed, but don't be surprised if they say "no." And you are right, if you continue to ignore the bill, it will damage your credit just like any other unpaid or late bill.

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