The repossession loophole

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2021 | Consumer Protection |

Wisconsin’s repossession law is very beneficial for the consumer. If a person buys a vehicle and stops making payments, the contact with the lender allows it to take that vehicle back.

Because this is part of the contract agreement, the law is on the lender’s side as long as there is proof your defaulted. However, the law does put restrictions on how repossession may occur.

Law change

Prior to 2007, if a lender wanted to repossess a vehicle, it had to go to court and get an order from a judge giving permission to take possession of the vehicle. The law changed in 2007, according to NBC 15. Lenders no longer have to go to court for a repossession order. Instead, they must provide the consumer with a notice alerting the consumer to the repossession at least two weeks in advance of the collection.

Other rules

It is important to note if a lender fails to provide a notice a full two weeks in advance to the consumer and it tries to repossess the vehicle, the consumer can get the car back along with all payments made. The court will also cancel the loan. The consumer gets the vehicle free and clear due to the lender not following the law.

The Wisconsin State Legislature explains the repossession notice can be in writing but also the lender may give it to the consumer verbally.

When the lender is repossessing the vehicle, it cannot enter the residence of the consumer in any way without stated permission from the consumer. In addition, the repossession cannot cause a disruption that would breach the peace.

The repossession laws in Wisconsin are beneficial for the consumer. They require a lender to be very careful when taking back a vehicle to avoid a violation.