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Condo | HOA Lawyers

Wisconsin Governor Ever’s Emergency Order and Foreclosures

Yesterday, Governor Ever’s signed Emergency Order #15 which reiterated the public health emergency relating to COVID 19.  It’s title: “Temporary Ban on Evictions and Foreclosures” also implies that foreclosure actions can not be filed or advance.  That is not the case.  Here is what the Order states relative to Foreclosures:

“7. Mortgagees are prohibited from commencing a civil action to foreclose upon real estate.

8. Mortgagees are prohibited from requesting or scheduling a sheriff’s sale of the mortgaged premises.

9, Sheriffs may not conduct sheriff’s sales of mortgaged premises nor may sheriffs act on any order of foreclosure or execute any writ of assistance related to foreclosure.

10. Nothing in this Order shall be construed to affect the ability to commence a civil action to foreclose upon real estate under Section 846.102 [abandoned premises] of the Wisconsin Statutes.

11. No provision in this order should be construed as relieving an individual of their obligations to pay rent, make mortgage payments, or any other obligation an individual may have under a tenancy or mortgage.”

The Order expires on May 26, 2020.

For Homeowner’s and Condominium Associations here is what is Important to Know:

  1. An association (whether an HOA or a condominium) is not a “mortgagee” when collecting its assessments, interest, late fees or fines;
  2. Under Ch. 703 a mortgagee is: “the holder of any recorded mortgage encumbering one or more units or a land contract vendor;”
  3. Our collection work on behalf of our Associations will proceed, although there will be a slow down in the court system;
  4. If your Association does not have a Collection Policy, they need to immediately adopt one; and
  5. If your Association has a Collection Policy, then you should:
    • Review it to see if it needs any adjustments during this COVID 19 crisis;
    • Determine if your Board or Association seeks to amend any of its provisions for the following:
      • Waive late fees during the April and May of 2020 (HB recommends, but it is not legally required);
      • Waive interest during April and May of 2020 (HB recommends, but it is not legally required);
      • Wait an extra 15-30 days before a matter is turned over for collection (HB recommends, but it is not legally required);
      • Give an extra 30 days between the lien filing date and the filing of the complaint if the unit owner does not contact HB (HB recommends, but it is not legally required).

We look forward to continuing to serve our client Associations and please contact us with any questions.  Stay Safe.


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