A Chapter 7 bankruptcy releases you from your debts, but does not release your cosigners. Your creditors will demand payment from them if you don’t pay. Lenders want cosigners so that they will have someone else to pursue if you fail to make payments or discharge the debt in bankruptcy. One way to protect your cosigners is to continue to pay the debt after you file bankruptcy.
If you are too far in default or if the payments are too high you can use a Chapter 13 proceeding to protect the cosigner. Chapter 13 lets you rewrite the debt and take up to five years to pay it while protecting your cosigner from the creditor. As long as you are paying a consumer debt in full through a Chapter 13 plan, your cosigners are protected, even though the loan is not being paid off as fast as originally required.