If I lose my home to foreclosure in Wisconsin, can I get it back?

You cannot get your Wisconsin home back after foreclosure, but you can redeem (repurchase) it if you act within a certain time period before the foreclosure sale.

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Question

I own a home in Madison, Wisconsin. The house recently went into foreclosure, but I just got a very large bonus at work. My family really loves the place and we’d like to keep it. Do I have the right to get the house back after the foreclosure sale?

Answer

No, you can’t get the house back after the foreclosure is over and done with. However, under Wisconsin law you get a certain amount of time (called a “redemption period”) before the sale during which you can “redeem” the home by paying the amount of the foreclosure judgment plus certain other amounts. This will stop the foreclosure.

Time Period In Which You Can Redeem the Home

Wisconsin foreclosures are judicial, which means the lender must file a lawsuit in court to foreclose your home. Once the lender gets a judgment for foreclosure from the court, the redemption period starts (Wis. Stat. Ann. § 846.13). (To learn more about foreclosure laws and procedures in Wisconsin, visit Nolo’s Wisconsin Foreclosure Law Center.)

In Wisconsin, the length of the redemption period will be:

  • five weeks from the judgment date if the home is abandoned (Wis. Stat. § 846.102(1))
  • six months from the judgment date if the homeowner is living in the home and the lender waives its right to seek a deficiency judgment (Wis. Stat. § 846.101(2))
  • 12 months from the judgment date if the homeowner is living in the home and the lender has not waived its right to seek a deficiency judgment (Wis. Stat. § 846.10). (Learn more about Deficiency Judgments After Foreclosure in Wisconsin.)

Once the redemption period expires, the sale takes place. There is no post-sale right of redemption.

How Much You'll Have to Pay to Redeem Your Home

To redeem the home, you must pay the court clerk or the foreclosing lender:

  • the amount of the judgment
  • interest
  • the foreclosing lender’s costs after obtaining a judgment, and
  • any taxes the foreclosing lender paid after the judgment (Wis. Stat. § 846.13).

You have up until the court confirms the sale to pay the redemption amount. See Security State Bank v. Sechen, 2005 WI App 253, ¶ 5, 288 Wis.2d 168, 707 N.W.2d 576.

Other Ways to Stop the Foreclosure

Keep in mind that there are other ways, besides redeeming the home, to stop the foreclosure. For example, you may potentially be able to refinance the loan, pay off the past-due amounts to reinstate (catch up on) the loan, obtain a mortgage modification, or sell the house and pay off the amount due.

Finding Wisconsin’s Redemption Laws

To find the statutes that discuss when you can redeem the home in Wisconsin, go to Chapter 846 of the the Wisconsin Statutes.

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