If you stop making your mortgage payments, the bank may use a process called foreclosure to sell your home and use the proceeds to repay the amount you borrowed plus fees and costs. In some states, after you lose the home at a foreclosure sale, you can get the property back by “redeeming” (repurchasing) it during what’s called a post-sale “redemption period.”
Wisconsin law, though, doesn’t provide a redemption period after a foreclosure sale. Instead, the redemption period happens before the sale. The length of the redemption period varies depending on a number of factors like whether the bank is seeking a deficiency judgment or whether the borrower abandoned the home. Read on to get details about the redemption period in a Wisconsin foreclosure.
In Wisconsin, you can’t get your house back after a foreclosure is over and done with by redeeming it. However, under Wisconsin law, you get a certain amount of time before the sale during which you can stop the foreclosure by paying of the full amount of your mortgage debt. This period of time is called the redemption period.
Wisconsin foreclosures are judicial, which means the foreclosing party (the "lender") has to file a lawsuit in court to foreclose your home. (To learn the ins and outs of Wisconsin foreclosure procedures, see Wisconsin Foreclosure Law and Procedure.)
After the lender gets a judgment from the court, the redemption period begins. (Wis. Stat. Ann. § 846.13.) Once the redemption period expires, the sale takes place and the court confirms it. Unlike in some other states, Wisconsin doesn’t give foreclosed borrowers a right of redemption after the sale.
In Wisconsin, the length of the redemption period depends on the circumstances:
If the lender waives its right to a deficiency judgment, the redemption period is shortened. Because of the shortened period, the lender often chooses not to go after a deficiency judgment. (Learn about Deficiency Judgments After Foreclosure in Wisconsin.)
Mortgages executed before April 27, 2016. The redemption period is generally 12 months after the court enters a judgment to foreclose. (Wis. Stat. § 846.10.) But if the lender waives its right to a deficiency judgment, the redemption period is reduced to six months. (Wis. Stat. § 846.101.)
Mortgages executed on and after April 27, 2016. The redemption period is generally six months after the court enters a judgment to foreclose. (Wis. Stat. § 846.10.) The borrower may ask the court to extend the redemption period to eight months, but only if he or she is attempting in good faith to sell the mortgaged premises and has entered into a listing agreement with a licensed real estate broker.
If the lender waives its right to a deficiency judgment, the redemption period is reduced to three months. (Wis. Stat. § 846.101.) The borrower may ask the court to extend the redemption period to five months, but only if he or she is attempting in good faith to sell the mortgaged premises and has entered into a listing agreement with a licensed real estate broker.
The redemption period is six months, but if the lender waives the deficiency judgment, the redemption period is three months. (Wis. Stat. § 846.103.)
Regardless of whether a deficiency is sought, if you abandon (permanently move out of) the home, the redemption period is five weeks. (Wis. Stat. § 846.102.)
To redeem the home, you must pay the court clerk or the foreclosing lender:
You have up until the court confirms the sale to pay the redemption amount. (Security State Bank v. Sechen, 2005 WI App 253, 288 Wis.2d 168, 707 N.W.2d 576.)
Keep in mind that there are other ways, besides redeeming the home, to stop a foreclosure. You might potentially be able to refinance the loan, like through the Home Affordable Refinance program, pay off the past-due amounts to reinstate (catch up on) the loan, get a mortgage modification, or sell the house and pay off the amount due.
If you need more information about Wisconsin foreclosure procedures, potential defenses to a foreclosure, or about how long the redemption period will be in your foreclosure, consider talking to a local attorney. If you want information about foreclosure avoidance options, consider talking to a HUD-approved housing counselor.