Our team of lawyers has extensive experience in debt collection and in protecting the rights of those who extend credit. For decades, Curran Law Office has represented many of the banks and credit unions in the area.  As a result, we have many years of experience in handling just about every kind of collection issue imaginable.

If you are having problems collecting a bill, we can guide you through the collection process from start to finish.

Here are just a few of the matters we routinely handle in the field of creditor rights and debt collection:

  • Foreclosure Proceedings
  • Garnishments
  • Executions
  • Appointment of Receivers
  • Repossession
  • Evaluation of property exempt from execution
  • Bankruptcy and Bankruptcy stays
  • Sheriff Sales
  • Supplementary Proceedings
  • Enforcement of Judgments and Liens
  • All other aspects of Debt Collection

Common Questions

Do you have questions about debt collection or creditor rights in Wisconsin?

See below for answers to some common questions.

Must I use a lawyer to collect a debt?

No.  There is no requirement that you hire a lawyer.

Are there any special laws I must follow if I try to collect the debt myself?

Maybe.  Anyone attempting to collect a debt arising from a “consumer credit transaction” in Wisconsin, whether they are a merchant doing its own debt collecting or a third-party debt collector doing it, must follow Wisconsin’s debt collection law.  This is an important point because many merchants collecting their own debts mistakenly believe that they are exempt from Wisconsin’s debt collection law because they are not a “debt collector.”

Also, creditors who fall under the definition of a “debt collector” must also comply with the federal “Fair Debt Collections Practices Act” (FDCPA) which makes it illegal for debt collectors to use abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices when they collect debts.


What is a “consumer credit transaction?”

Generally, a consumer credit transaction is any loan, lease or sale under $25,000, primarily made for a personal, family or household purpose, on which a finance charge is or may be assessed, or is payable in more than four installments. For a complete definition and a list of exclusions, see Chapter 421, Wis. Stats.

Some examples of “consumer credit transactions” include:

  • car loans;
  • student loans:
  • single-pay notes, where interest is assessed;
  • any accounts receivable where there is a balance at the end of the month;
  • second mortgages if the institution holding the second mortgage does nothold the first mortgage;
  • checking account overdraft protection programs.

Examples of transactions that are not “consumer credit transactions:”

  • loans over $25,000
  • business loans
  • first mortgages.
  • transactions primarily for an agricultural purposes.
What is the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law which imposes various rules on debt collectors and makes it illegal for debt collectors to use abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices when they collect debts.

What types of debts are covered by the FDCPA?

Credit card debt, auto loans, medical bills, student loans, mortgage, and other household debts are covered by the FDCPA.   Business debts are not covered by FDCPA.

If I obtain a judgment against a debtor, must the debtor then pay me?

No.  A Judgment simply declares that the debtor owes you money.  It does not force the debtor to pay you the amount of your judgment.  In some cases, the debtor will voluntarily pay the judgment, but in many cases the debtor will not pay.  If the debtor is unwilling to voluntarily pay the judgment, you must commence further legal proceedings to force payment.  Such proceedings may include garnishment of wages, repossession of property, or foreclosure of real estate.

What happens if a debtor files for bankruptcy?

A debtor can file for bankruptcy at any time. The filing of bankruptcy immediately stops all collection proceedings, including pending lawsuits, against the debtor until the Bankruptcy is concluded. This is called the “automatic stay.” In some limited circumstances, a creditor can file a motion with the Bankruptcy court to lift the stay as to that creditor.  The Bankruptcy will ultimately determine whether your debt is “discharged,” meaning, whether it is cancelled.  If your debt is ‘”discharged,” you may not collect it from the bankrupt debtor.

If a debtor files for Bankruptcy, how will I know?

Shortly after filing the bankruptcy, the court will send out a notice to all creditors identified by the debtor, giving you information regarding the date, time and place for the first meeting of creditors, the deadline for filing your proof of claim, and the deadline for filing objections to discharge.

What if the debt is guaranteed by a third person? Can I pursue a claim against the third party during the debtor’s bankruptcy?

Generally, yes, but you should consult with a bankruptcy lawyer because in Chapter 13 bankruptcies the automatic stay may also protect the guarantors in some circumstances.

We can help. Contact us.

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(608) 847-7363

Wisconsin Dells

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