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Understanding Vehicle Repossession Laws in Wisconsin

Posted by Nathan DeLadurantey | Apr 26, 2024

Behind on your car loan payments in Wisconsin and worried about repossession? Understanding the laws surrounding vehicle repossession can empower you to navigate this stressful situation. This blog post will break down the key things Wisconsin residents need to know about repossession:

Default and the Right to Cure:

  • Before repossession can occur, you must be in "default" on your loan agreement. This typically means missing a certain number of payments (usually one month plus 10 days) and may include a right to receive a written notice of default from the lender.
  • This notice, often called a "right to cure" notice, will outline the missed payments and your window to catch up (usually 15 days from the notice). Making full payment by the deadline prevents repossession.

Repossession Process:

  • If you don't "cure" the default, the lender or their agent can repossess the vehicle.
  • Wisconsin law requires certain procedures for repossession to be legal:
    • No Breach of Peace: The repossession cannot involve violence, threats, or breaking into locked areas (like a garage) to seize the car, or taking the vehicle over your protest. 
    • Notice to Law Enforcement: The repossession agent must notify local law enforcement after taking the vehicle.
  • Important: If a repo agent violates these rules, you may have legal recourse to challenge the repossession and potentially get your car back.

Your Options After Repossession:

  • Redemption: Wisconsin offers a redemption period where you can repurchase the vehicle by paying the full amount owed, including any repossession fees.
  • Deficiency Judgment: If you don't redeem the car, it will be sold at auction. 

Protecting Yourself:

  • Stay Informed: Review your loan agreement to understand default terms and your rights.
  • Communicate with Your Lender: If you're struggling to make payments, proactively contact your lender to discuss options like a loan modification or deferment.
  • Know Your Rights: If you believe the repossession violated Wisconsin law, consult with a consumer protection attorney to explore your options.

Remember: Facing repossession can be overwhelming. Knowing your rights under Wisconsin law is crucial. By staying informed, communicating with your lender, and seeking legal guidance if necessary, you can navigate this situation more effectively.

Attorney Nathan DeLadurantey offers free consultations to explain your legal rights in Wisconsin. Free consultations can be scheduled online. 

About the Author

Nathan DeLadurantey

Nathan DeLadurantey ATTORNEY [email protected] Nathan is a skilled consumer lawyer who handles cases and trials all over Wisconsin. Phone consultations are always free and welcomed. Nathan has helped clients receive large jury verdicts and settlements stemming from consumer law violations, and is ready and able to assist.


The DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC is committed to answering your questions about Vehicle Repo's, Credit Report/Identity Theft, Auto Fraud, and Debt Collection Abuse law issues in Wisconsin.

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