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Wisconsin Foreclosure Laws

Wisconsin Foreclosure Laws

Attorney General's Office

P.O. Box 7857
Madison, WI 53707-7857
Ph: (608) 266-1221
Fax: (608) 266-2779

Foreclosure Laws in Wisconsin

Judicial Foreclosure: Yes
Non-Judicial Foreclosure: Yes
Security Instruments: Mortgage / Trust Deed
Right of Redemption: Yes. (If no court confirmation of sale)
Deficiency Judgments: Yes. Unless Waived
Time Frame: Varies. 90 Days-12 Months
Public Notice: Complaint

Judicial foreclosure: In the absence of a power of sale clause in the loan document, the lender must sue the defaulted borrower and obtain a court order to foreclose. Unless the lender waives his right to a deficiency judgment, the sale will be held one year from the date of the order to foreclose. If deficiency is waived, the sale may be held in six months, or, if the property is abandoned, in two months. The sale may be held sooner by consent.

Non-judicial foreclosure: May be used if a power of sale clause authorizing the lender to sell the property to pay off the loan is included in the loan document. If the time, place, and terms of sale are specified, then that procedure must be followed. If not, the process is as follows:

  1. The notice of sale must be recorded, served upon the borrower, and then published weekly for six consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the property is located. If the borrower cannot be found, the notice must be posted conspicuously on the property and served on any occupant.

  2. The sale will be held as a public auction at the time and place specified in the notice. The successful bidder receives a certificate of purchase. Postponement is permitted.

  3. In the absence of court confirmation of the sale, the borrower has 12 months to redeem the property, but usually the lender will apply for court confirmation. If the lender states in his application his intention to sue for any deficiency balance, he may then sue for a judgment. Otherwise suits for deficiency balances are not allowed.