Foreclosing on Abandoned Properties: Creditors Beware

By: Adam R. Finkel

The economic downturn in 2008 and the crash of the housing market left banks and other creditors holding notes on properties with little to no value. Foreclosure filings followed in mass, leaving mortgagees with judgments of foreclosure. Under Wisconsin law, however, these judgments of foreclosure do not transfer title of the properties to the mortgagees automatically. The properties remain titled in the mortgagors’ names even after judgments of foreclosure are rendered, and after many individuals have abandoned the properties. Although Wisconsin foreclosure filings have drastically slowed since their peak in 2009, many of the properties that were foreclosed upon from 2008 through 2014 still remain titled in the original mortgagors’ names because the properties were never sold. Continue reading

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