DEFINITION of 'Joint Liability'

An obligation, including an obligation to repay a debt between two or more parties. A joint liability allows parties to share the risks associated with taking on additional debt, and to protect themselves in the event of legal litigation and lawsuits.

BREAKING DOWN 'Joint Liability'

A joint liability for a debt is the result of two or more parties applying jointly for credit as co-borrowers, which is implied in a general partnership. Under the regulations of a general partnership, any partner entering into a contract with or without the knowledge of other partners automatically binds all partners to that contract.

A co-signer of a loan or another debt obligation also has joint liability for a debt; however, this is contingent upon default by the borrower.

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