Wisconsin Modifies Provisions Regarding Sale of Foreclosed Property

The state of Wisconsin recently modified its provisions regarding procedures on the sale of a foreclosed property by a sheriff or referee. These provisions are effective immediately.

The updated provisions state that in the event of a foreclosure, the sheriff or referee who makes the sale of a mortgaged premises must give notice of the time and place of sale in the manner provided by law. The sheriff or referee must include the street address of the real estate to be sold and the sum of the judgment, in the notice of sale. If the Department of Veterans Affairs is also a party to the foreclosure action, the judgment must direct that notice of sale be given by registered mail, return receipt requested, to the Department at Madison, Wisconsin, at least 3 weeks prior to the date of sale.

The update explains that no foreclosure sale involving real property other than a one-family to 4-family residence that is owner-occupied at the commencement of the foreclosure action, a farm, a church, or a tax-exempt nonprofit charitable organization may be held until the expiration of six months from the date when the foreclosure judgment is entered. Notice of the time and place of sale must be given and may be given within the six month period, except that the first printing of the notice may not be made less than four months after the date when the judgment is entered.

Upon the sale of the mortgaged premises in compliance with its terms, the sheriff or referee must make and execute on the purchaser (or the purchaser’s assigns or personal representatives) a deed of the premises that includes each parcel of land sold to the purchaser and the purchase price.

The sheriff or referee may not accept less than $100 as a deposit or down payment from the purchaser at a sale of mortgaged premises. The sheriff or referee must then deliver the amount of the deposit or down payment to the clerk of court and the purchaser must pay the balance of the sale price to the clerk of court upon the confirmation of the sale.

The update further explains that there is a real estate transfer fee imposed on the grantor of real estate, which is 30 cents for each $100 of value on every non-exempt conveyance. The value is simply the total principal amount that the buyer agrees to pay the seller for the real estate. This transfer fee must be collected by the register at the time the instrument of conveyance is submitted for recording. The register must enter the fee paid on the face of the deed or other instrument of conveyance before recording. Submission of a completed real estate transfer return and collection by the register of the fee is necessary for acceptance of the conveyance for recording. If the transfer is not subject to a fee, the reason for exemption must be stated on the face of the conveyance to be recorded by reference.

The full text is available below:


  • 781-402-6431

Zachary Pearlstein, JD, is a senior regulatory compliance consultant with Bankers Advisory. He is a graduate of Brandeis University and earned his juris doctor at Suffolk University Law School. He is admitted to the Massachusetts Bar.

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