For homeowners facing foreclosure in Wisconsin, the following is a summary of the state’s foreclosure laws:
Foreclosures in Wisconsin can be judicial, meaning the bank must file a lawsuit in court in order to foreclose.
Foreclosures in Wisconsin can also be nonjudicial but a court must confirm the sale.
Wisconsin law requires one foreclosure notice:
- In Wisconsin, the bank files a lawsuit in court in order to initiate the foreclosure process. The bank will send the homeowner notice of the lawsuit by serving a summons and complaint. The homeowner has 20 days to file an answer with the court.
- If the bank is awarded a judgment against the homeowner, the court will order the foreclosure sale. A notice of the sale must be published in a local newspaper, advertised in a public place, and posted on the county website for three weeks prior to the date of the foreclosure sale.
Wisconsin Foreclosure Protections
Wisconsin law provides protections in accordance with the federal Service Members Civil Relief Act.
Wisconsin law also provides to members of the National Guard or state defense forces who are ordered into state active duty for 30 days or more.
Also, the bank cannot foreclose during or within 90 days after the service member’s period of state active duty, unless a court:
- Ordered the foreclosure before the beginning of the service member’s period of state active duty, and approves the foreclosure after it occurs. This protection applies to mortgages taken out prior to active duty.
Wisconsin law prohibits, among other things, the following things when it comes to high-cost home loans:
- Balloon payments (except under certain circumstances)
- Increasing the interest rate after a default
- Accelerating the loan
- Negative amortization
Reinstatement and Redemption
In Wisconsin, homeowners have the right to reinstate before a foreclosure judgment. The court will then dismiss the foreclosure. Homeowners can also reinstate after judgment, which will postpone the case. If the homeowner misses another payment, the foreclosure will proceed.
In Wisconsin, the redemption period takes place before the sale. Depending on the circumstances, the redemption period ranges from five weeks to one year for mortgages executed before April 27, 2016. For mortgages executed after April 27, 2016, the redemption period ranges from five weeks to six months. Once the redemption period ends, the foreclosure sale takes place. There is no right of redemption after the foreclosure sale.
In Wisconsin, deficiency judgments are allowed if the bank makes a prior request in the complaint. The bank will often waive the deficiency, though, in order to shorten the redemption period to six months.
The homeowner can stay in the home throughout the redemption period up until the court confirms the foreclosure sale. If the foreclosed homeowner does not leave at that time, they will be evicted. The order confirming the sale may also include a writ of assistance, which is an order from the court directing the sheriff to remove the foreclosed homeowner from the home. For information regarding how to avoid foreclosure in Wisconsin, visit HUD.gov.