Wisconsin Usury Laws
Wisconsin actually is home to one of the more complicated lending schemes to be found anywhere in the United States. Part of this is an outgrowth of the fact that Wisconsin was a state on the forefront of the consumer protection movement, including that of reigning in certain lending practices, early on.
Generally speaking, the top limit for a personal consumer loan in Wisconsin has been set at five percent. However, there are many different rates in place for different types of loans. This five percent cap which delineates the usury limit in Wisconsin pertains to loans made from one individual to another.
Criminal sanctions can be imposed in many instances in which an individual has made a personal loan to another person with an interest rate that violates the cap that has been duly established by the Wisconsin Legislature. Indeed, a person acting in violation of the law in this manner can be charged with a felony in Wisconsin.
The five percent usury rate does not apply to loans that are made from a corporation, a bank or a savings and loan to an individual. There are a whole set of other regulations that pertain to these types of loans.
With this noted, if a corporation is formed for the sole purpose of avoiding usury laws that are in place and in force in Wisconsin, the act of establishing the corporation (or other legal entity for that matter) will be deemed a violation of the law. Moreover, any loan made through such a legal entity will be deemed to be an illegal loan and will not be enforceable. Moreover, in some situations, criminal sanctions also may be imposed.
The judgment interest rate in Wisconsin currently is set at twelve percent. However, the judgment rate attached to mortgage foreclosure actions will be the contract rate as lawfully established.
Please keep in mind that nothing in this article should be construed as providing you with legal advice. If you have any additional questions pertaining to the usury laws in the State of Wisconsin, you need to consult with a qualified attorney. Additionally, you need to keep in mind that the statutes and regulations governing usury loan rates change from time to time. While we do make every effort to keep our information up to date, you do need to bear in mind that the laws pertaining to usury lending practices in Wisconsin can change.