This question demonstrates some of the pitfalls of bankruptcy for the unaware.
“I filed bankruptcy in 2013 and put my car in it. Now the bank has sent papers to my co-signer saying he has to pay it off. Is this legal and why?”
Yes, it’s very legal. The reason is that the co-signer didn’t file bankruptcy; the debtor did. The whole purpose of having a co-signer is so the bank has two (or more) people to pursue to pay the debt. In this case the debtor filed bankruptcy and got a discharge. Therefore, the bank can no longer go after him. But the co-signer is still out there. So the bank is now chasing the co-signer.
Many people facing bankruptcy who also have co-signers on a debt elect to file Chapter 13. Chapter 13 has what is called a “co-debtor stay” meaning as long as the bankruptcy is pending the creditor cannot go after the co-signer. Once the bankruptcy is over, whatever is left on the debt, if anything, can be collected from the co-signer.
If you have debts with co-signers you need to speak with an attorney about how a bankruptcy will affect the co-signer.