Wisconsin Foreclosure Process and Laws


Quick Facts About the Wisconsin Foreclosure Process

Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes

Non-Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes

Primary Security Instruments: Deed of Trust, Mortgage

Timeline: Typically 90 days

Right of Redemption: Yes

Deficiency Judgments Allowed: Yes

Lenders in Wisconsin may use the judicial or non-judicial process to foreclose mortgages in default.

Judicial Foreclosure
The judicial process of foreclosure s use when there is no power of sale clause present in a mortgage. This is done by filing a lawsuit to obtain a court order to foreclose so that it can be auctioned off to the highest bidder. In Wisconsin, no sale can be done for one year starting on the day the judgement is entered, unless the lender waives the right to deficiency and the delay is reduced to six months; two months if the property is abandoned.

Non-Judicial Foreclosure
When a power of sale clause exists in a mortgage, the non-judicial process of foreclosure is used. This clause just gives the lender the authority to sell the property in the event of the borrower’s default. The lender himself or a trustee has the power to sell the property at an auction by following the foreclosure process outlined in the “Power of Sale Foreclosure Guidelines.”

Power of Sale Foreclosure Guidelines
If the rems of the sale are stated in the power of sale clause, these must be followed. If not, the non-judicial foreclosure process should be carried out as follows:

  1. The foreclosure notice should be recorded in the county where the property is located, and it must also be published once a week for six consecutive weeks in the county newspaper. The notice must also be sent to the borrower the same way that a civil process in a lawsuit is served. If the borrower cannot be found, the notice must be placed on a conspicouous spot on the property to be sold.

    The notice must contain the names of the borrower and lender, date of mortgage, amount due, a description of the property and the time and place of sale.

  2. The winning bidder will obtain a certificate of sale and the sale may be postponed when needed.
  3. The borrower has one year to match the price of the property at the auction plus interest if he wants to redeem his property.

The lender must state their intention in the application of sales confirmation if they want to be able to file for a deficiency suit. If unable to do this, deficiency suits are not allowed.

Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling

HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are available to provide you with the information and assistance you need to avoid foreclosure. As part of President Obama’s comprehensive Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan (HASP), you may be eligible for a special Making Home Affordable loan modification or refinance, to reduce your monthly payments and help you keep your home.

If you need help understanding the Making Home Affordable programs, you can use this search tool to find a counseling agency in your area that will provide you with free foreclosure prevention services. If you are eligible for the loan modification or refinance program, the counselor will work with you to compile an intake package for your servicer.

Foreclosure prevention counseling services are provided free of charge by nonprofit housing counseling agencies working in partnership with the Federal Government. These agencies are funded, in part, by HUD and NeighborWorks® America. There is no need to pay a private company for these services.

Milwaukee Field Office

310 West Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1380
Milwaukee, WI 53203-2289

Phone: (414) 297-3214

Fax: (414) 297-3947
TTY: (414) 297-1423

Jurisdiction: State of Wisconsin

Delbert F. Reynolds
Field Office Director

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday