Joint And Several

A legal term which sets out who is liable on a joint account or joint debt. Joint and several means that the lender can pursue you for repayment either separately, or against both of you, as it likes. A good example of this is if you act as a guarantor on an account you are equally liable to be pursued for any outstanding amounts even if you have not actively used the agreement yourself.

Under joint and several liability, a claimant may pursue an obligation against any one party as if they were jointly liable and it becomes the responsibility of the defendants to sort out their respective proportions of liability and payment. This means that if the claimant pursues one defendant and receives payment, that defendant must then pursue the other obligors for a contribution to their share of the liability. Many see Joint and Several as unfair as it does not equally apportion responsibility to the parties concerned however it does protect lenders from being undercompensated for any losses on an agreement.

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