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Garaged and Gone? Understanding Repossession Laws in Wisconsin Garages

Posted by Nathan DeLadurantey | Jun 24, 2024

Imagine this: you park your car safely inside your garage, only to find it missing later. In Wisconsin, a repossession can be a stressful experience, but the law protects consumers from overly aggressive tactics. This blog post dives into the specifics of vehicle repossession from garages in Wisconsin.

Can They Take My Car from My Garage?

Generally, no. In Wisconsin, a repo company cannot enter into garage or other secured storage unit to seize your vehicle. This falls under "breach of the peace" repossession, which is illegal. Here's why:

  • Your Garage is an Extension of Your Dwelling: Wisconsin courts recognize a garage attached to your home as part of your dwelling, offering a layer of protection.
  • Respecting Private Property: Repossession agents need to operate within legal boundaries. Breaking into a locked space is considered trespassing.

What Locations are Off Limits?

Beyond a locked garage, here are other areas where repossession gets tricky:

  • Fenced Yards: Forcing entry into a fenced yard, especially if it's locked, might be considered a breach of peace.
  • Private Driveways: While repossession from a driveway is generally allowed, it cannot involve violence or threats.

What Can They Do Legally?

Repossession agents can legally repossess your car if it's parked:

  • On a public street
  • In an unfenced driveway
  • In a parking lot

However, they must follow these guidelines:

  • No Force or Threats: Physical force or threats of violence are illegal during repossession.
  • Avoiding Damage: The repossession process shouldn't cause damage to your vehicle or property.
  • Notice to Law Enforcement: The repo company typically notifies local law enforcement after repossession.

Protecting Yourself from Repossession

  • Stay Current on Payments: The best way to avoid repossession is to prioritize your car loan payments.
  • Communicate with Your Lender: If you're struggling financially, reach out to your lender to discuss options like loan modification or deferment.
  • Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with Wisconsin's repossession laws, especially regarding breach of peace tactics.

What if My Car Was Wrongfully Repossessed?

If you believe your car was repossessed illegally, especially from a locked garage, here are your options:

  • Contact the Police: File a police report documenting the incident.
  • Consult a Lawyer: An attorney specializing in consumer rights can advise you on legal actions like suing the repo company for damages or wrongful repossession.

Key Takeaways

  • Repossession from a locked garage in Wisconsin is illegal.
  • Secured storage units and fenced yards offer similar protections.
  • Know your rights and don't hesitate to seek legal help if you believe your car was wrongfully repossessed.

By understanding the legalities of repossession in Wisconsin garages, you can protect yourself from aggressive tactics and fight for your vehicle if necessary. Remember, communication with your lender and staying informed are your best lines of defense.

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.

We offer free consultation and look forward to discussing your case. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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