The Difference Between Jointly Liable & Joint & Several Liability by Ellis Roanhorse, Demand Media
Joint and several liability is allowed in many states. This type of liability may apply to business partners who form a general partnership, or to two or more individuals when someone is injured due to negligence. Joint and several liability is different than when two or more individuals are jointly liable for an obligation. Joint and several liability gives an injured party a better chance of recovering damages because he may pursue any one of the parties who are jointly and severally liable for the injury. Jointly Liable
When two people are jointly liable, each is individually liable for whatever debt or obligation they have together. For example, if spouses both sign for a mortgage loan, they are jointly liable for the amount of the loan. Thus, if one spouse passes away, the other is liable for any remaining amount. When two partners are jointly liable for a debt and a creditor sues one partner and receives the full amount, the creditor does not have a right to later sue the other partner. Severally Liable
Several liability is the opposite of joint liability. When two or more partners obtain a loan for which they are severally liable, each partner is only liable for their own obligation. For example, if three business partners co-borrow money for their small business and the loan agreement states that they are only severally liable, the lender may only sue the partner who fails to fulfill his obligation. Related Reading: What Is the Difference Between a Negligence Action & a Strict Liability Action? Joint and Several Liability
When two or more partners have joint and several liability for a debt, a creditor may sue any one of the partners. If a creditor recovers money from one partner, that partner may pursue the other partners for their respective share of obligation. In other words, it becomes the responsibility of the partner who was initially sued to...
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