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Don't Get Caught Off Guard: Understanding Car Repossession Laws in Wisconsin

Posted by Nathan DeLadurantey | May 03, 2024

Cars are a necessity for many Wisconsinites, but missing payments can lead to a stressful situation: repossession. While the fear of losing your car can be a powerful motivator to stay current on payments, understanding Wisconsin's repossession laws can give you valuable time to act. Here's a breakdown of what you need to know:

The Wisconsin Consumer Act (WCA) Offers Protections

Thankfully, Wisconsin consumers have some protections under the WCA. First, for a repossession to be legal, you must be in default on your loan. Default typically means you're more than a certain number of payments behind.

Understanding When You're Officially "Behind"

Under the WCA, you're not considered in default until you're more than 40 days late on more than one full payment. In simpler terms, this means you have to be at least one full payment plus 10 days behind to be at risk of repossession under the WCA.

Notice is Key: The "Right to Cure" Window

Even after you're in default, lenders in Wisconsin governed by the WCA must send you a written notice of your right to cure the default. This notice informs you of the missed payments and your right to bring your loan current within a specific timeframe, 15 days.

Not All Loans Fall Under the WCA

There's a caveat: The WCA only applies to certain types of loans. Generally, it covers loans for vehicles with an amount financed of $25,000 or less. If your car loan is for a higher amount, the lender may be able to repossess the car sooner under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), without the same right to cure protections.

The Bottom Line: Act Quickly to Avoid Repossession

While Wisconsin law offers some protections, it's crucial to act fast if you're struggling to make car payments. Here are some steps to take:

  • Contact your lender immediately: Explain your situation and explore options to catch up on missed payments. Many lenders offer hardship programs or loan modifications.
  • Review your loan agreement: Understand the specific terms regarding default and repossession.
  • Seek legal advice (if possible): A lawyer can help you navigate your rights and options.

Remember, communication is key. By understanding Wisconsin's repossession laws and taking proactive steps, you can increase your chances of keeping your car.

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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