Cosigning loans for his children may stop Nathan Deal from becoming Governor of Georgia. The Atlanta Journal has reported extensively on this mess over the last two weeks.
Here is how Nathan Deal wrecked his personal finances. His daughter and son-in-law had a dream of opening a store called Wilder Outdoor Inc. The problem with starting the store was that they could not get financing on their own. This fact should have clued Deal into the fact that this business was probably not a good idea. Love is blind. Everyone loves their kids and wants to help them out. Out of love for his daughter, Deal cosigned loans to get the business up and running. With this terrible economy, the business flopped. Deal’s daughter and son-in-law filed for bankruptcy. Nathan Deal is now left holding the bag for millions of dollars in loans.
I always tell my clients to never ever ever ever cosign a loan for anyone under any circumstances. Can you guess how I feel about cosigning for loans? In my 12 years as a consumer bankruptcy attorney in Georgia, I have seen hundreds of people get burned by cosigning a loan for someone else.
If someone needs your help, give them everything you own but don’t cosign anything. I can certainly understand Nathan Deal’s desire to help his kids. I have four kids and I would give my life for them. I may give them everything I own someday. However, I will never cosign a loan for them. When you cosign a loan, it is very difficult in some situations to know exactly how much you are putting on the line. When you clean out your life savings account and give it to your kids so that they can start a business, you know exactly what you gave. If Nathan Deal had done this instead consigning a loan, he might have been our next governor.