Depending on where you live, Wisconsin is not exactly the most walkable state in which to live. You rely on your vehicle to get to and from work, to take your children to and from school, and to run errands that are integral to your survival. Understandably, then, the repossession of your car can result in unnecessary stress, uncertainty and fear.
The good news is that, due to strict state consumer protection laws, you are not without options. With the right help and guidance, you may be able to pinpoint a remedy and get your car back with as little interruption to your life as possible.
Wisconsin has the strictest Consumer Protection Act in the nation
In an attempt to gain insight into the low number of repossessions throughout the U.S. following the events of 2020, WMTV NBC15 interviewed an attorney who specializes in consumer protection laws. While the lawyer speculates that repossessions are down because car dealers and auto lenders have little to gain by picking up vehicles they would take a loss on, he also cites Wisconsin’s Consumer Protection Act as a likely reason.
Under Wisconsin law, you must receive a two-week advanced notice of repossession. The notice must be in writing and specify the past-due amount. You have two weeks from the date of receipt of the notice to object to the reclamation.
Your remedies for a wrongful possession
If the lender repossesses your vehicle, it is imperative that you seek to understand your rights and entitlements under state law. If you can prove wrongful repossession, you can not only get your vehicle back but also, you can keep it without any further obligations to the loan. You can also recover compensation for any expenses you accrued as a result of not having your vehicle as well as any payments you made previously toward the interest and principal. Finally, you stand to recover attorney fees and damages for wrongful conduct.
Repossession does not have to be final. With a firm understanding of state laws and your rights, and with the right advocate on your side, you can make sure it is not.