Wisconsin allows both judicial and non-judicial foreclosures, although judicial foreclosures are much more prevalent. To begin the process, the lender files a suit in court against the defaulted borrower. The homeowner has a chance to contest the default, but if the court rules against them, they will grant them six to twelve months to pay the default. If the homeowner still cannot pay, a public foreclosure auction will be scheduled in order to retrieve the lender's loan.
The court will specify requirements for advertisement of a Notice of Sale which must be met before a sale can occur. No Notice of Sale may be published until at least ten months after the court's ruling.
On the day of the sale, the county Sheriff auctions off the homeowner's property to the highest bidder. The outcome of the sale is subject to a court's confirmation. Once a confirmation has been reached, the winning bidder must provide payment of their bid. If it is not paid within ten days of confirmation, the sale is void and another one is scheduled.
Wisconsin does not allow deficiency judgments. If the property sells for less than the mortgage loan amount, the court will not confirm the sale, but will hold another sale with a minimum bid specified.