Wisconsin Foreclosure Laws

Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes
Non-Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes
Security Instruments: Mortgage, Deed of Trust
Right of Redemption Period: Yes
Deficiency Judgments Allowed: Yes
Time Frame: 90 Days to12 Months
Public Notice: Complaint

Wisconsin is a lien theory state, meaning that the property acts as security for the borrower’s loan. A lien is placed on a property via a mortgage or deed of trust. When a borrower defaults on their loan, Wisconsin foreclosure law permits two types of foreclosure methods: judicial and non-judicial.

Borrowers have a right of redemption, allowing them some time after the property is sold to reclaim it by paying off their default as well as any additional costs. Usually, the redemption period in the state is twelve (12) months.

Lenders are also able to obtain a deficiency judgment in the event that the property is sold for less than what was owed on it. The borrower will be responsible for the difference in price. However, the fair market value of the property must be established before the judgment is granted.

Types of Foreclosures Allowed in Wisconsin

Judicial Foreclosure

Judicial foreclosure involves selling the defaulted property under court supervision. In order for a judicial foreclosure to be possible, no power of sale clause may be present in the loan documents.

The process begins with the lender filing a lawsuit against the borrower in a court with jurisdiction in the county where the property is located. The court is responsible for declaring a foreclosure, and if so, the property will be sold at auction to the highest bidder. In Wisconsin, the sale may not occur until at least one (1) year from the date the judgment is entered unless the lender opts to waive their right to a deficiency judgment. If so, the waiting period will be six (6) months or two (2) months if the property is abandoned.

Non-Judicial Foreclosure

Non-judicial foreclosure does not require court supervision but does require that the loan documents contain a power of sale clause, which authorizes the lender to sell the property in the event of default. There are two ways in which a non-judicial foreclosure in Wisconsin can proceed. If the power of sale clause states a specific time, place, and outlines terms of sale, then the lender must follow the procedure that is stated. If there is no specification, then the following guidelines must be followed:

1. The foreclosure notice must be recorded with the county before anything else can occur. The notice must contain information regarding the time and place of the sale, details about the mortgage, the names of the borrower and lender, property description, as well as other relevant information.

2. The notice must be served upon the borrower using the same method as with any other lawsuit is served. If the owner cannot be found, the notice must be posted in a conspicuous place on the property and served upon any current occupants.

3. The notice must be published once a week for six (6) straight weeks in a newspaper that circulates in the county where the property is located.

4. The foreclosure sale must be held at the time and location specified in the notice. The property will be sold at auction and the highest bidder will receive a certificate of purchase.

5. The borrower will have one year (12 months) to reclaim the property by paying the amount of the highest bid at the foreclosure sale in as well as interest, unless the sale was confirmed by court order.

Hiring a Wisconsin Foreclosure Lawyer

With the current state of the economy, many mortgagors have been finding it difficult keep up with loan payments. Many have experienced a pay cut or have lost their jobs, preventing them from being able to pay their mortgage on time. However, even if a notice of foreclosure has been served, there is still a way to stop it. Contact a leading foreclosure lawyer in Wisconsin to prevent your home from being repossessed.

Foreclosure attorneys do whatever it takes to prevent the seizure of your property. They will devise a plan that works for your financial situation as well as for your lender and will ensure that your case ends with the best possible outcome. Your foreclosure attorney might suggest mortgage modification, short sale or even a temporary halt in payment.

As a homeowner in Wisconsin, you have rights. Don’t waste any time before speaking to a top team of Wisconsin foreclosure lawyers to make sure you do not lose your home.