Wisconsin

General Procedures and Information

Method of Issuing Title Insurance

Title agents and attorney agents issue title insurance and related forms.

Foreclosures

Foreclosures are judicial in Wisconsin.

For specific questions, contact Wisconsin underwriting personnel.

References:

Related Bulletins: None.

Corporate Directory: Wisconsin Contacts.

Redemption Rights

A borrower may redeem property at any time prior to the sale. WI Stat. Sec. 846.13 It should be noted that WI Stat. 846.101-846.103 allow for shortening the time for the sale.

Survey Standards

Stewart Title Guaranty Company does not require a survey for deletion of the survey exception in loan policies on 1-4 residential properties and commercial properties with liabilities of $10 million or less. Residential properties are defined as subdivision lots or acreage tracts of twenty-five acres or less.

References
Related Bulletins:

MU000028   Survey Requirements - Loan Policies

MU000038   This Bulletin has been replaced by MU2007002.

Document and Form Information

Acknowledgments

These are the standard forms of acknowledgment:

  • WI Acknowledgment-Individual 1
  • WI Acknowledgment-Corporation 1

Conveyances

The customary form of conveyance is WI Deed-Warranty 1.

Other common forms of conveyance include the following:

  • WI Deed-Condominium 1
  • WI Deed-Quitclaim 1

Witnesses are not required on conveyances executed in Wisconsin.

A conveyance acknowledged in accordance with the laws of another state will be accepted for recordation in Wisconsin. Wis. Stat. Ann. Sec. 706.07(4).

Releases/Satisfactions

The standard release or satisfaction forms are:

  • WI Satisfaction of Mortgage 1
  • WI Partial Release of Mortgage 1

Security Instruments

The customary security instrument is the mortgage.

Witnesses are not required on mortgages executed in Wisconsin.

A mortgage acknowledged in accordance with the laws of another state will be accepted for recordation in Wisconsin. Wis. Stat. Ann. Sec. 706.07(4).

Title Insurance Form Regulations

Wisconsin requires that all title insurance policy forms and endorsements be filed with the Commissioner of Insurance. Stewart Title Guaranty Company has filed the standard ALTA policy forms and endorsements for use in Wisconsin along with a variety of state specific endorsements.

References:

Forms List: Wisconsin Forms .

Fees, Rates and Taxes

Deed Transfer Taxes and Documentary Stamps

The deed transfer tax is $3.00 per $1000.00 or major fraction thereof of consideration.

The seller customarily pays the deed transfer tax.

References:

Related Bulletins: None.

Mortgage Transfer Taxes

Wisconsin does not have a mortgage tax.

Real Estate Taxes

Real estate/ad valorem taxes are due in one or two installments. If one installment is chosen, the taxes are due on February 28th. If two installments are chosen, the first installment is due on January 31st. The second installment is due on July 31st.

Recording Fees

Recording fees in Wisconsin are $30.00 per document.

Search and Examination Fees

Title insurance premium includes the search and examination fee.

Title Insurance Rates

Title insurance rates must be filed with the Commissioner of Insurance Wisconsin.

The seller customarily pays for the owner's policy and the purchaser pays for the loan policy.

For specific questions, contact Wisconsin underwriting personnel.

References:

Corporate Directory: Wisconsin Contacts.

Spousal Rights

Spousal Rights

Dower and curtesy have both been abolished in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is a marital property state.

Both spouses must join in the conveyance of a homestead except where only one spouse is the grantee on a deed and simultaneously gives a purchase money mortgage. WI Stat. Sec. 706.02(1)(f)

Statute Of Limitations

Statute Of Limitations

The limitation period for judgment liens is 10 years. WI Stat. 806.15(1)

State tax liens remain a lien until paid. There is no statute of limitations based on an Attorney General's opinion.

Child support liens are filed against debtors and are vaild for a period of 5 years from docketing.

Real Estate Practices

Attorney Involvement

Please describe any requirements under applicable state law for attorney, abstractor or other special professional involvement, for example, in the search, examination, opinion of title, signing, closing, disbursement, recording, preparation of documents, and/or policy-issuance.

Attorney involvement may be needed to the extent that drafting of documents is treated as the unauthorized practice of law. Wisconsin Statutes Section 757.30.

Cancellation/Commitment Fee

Does your state permit or require a cancellation fee or commitment fee upon cancellation?

The statutes are silent on this topic. If this is considered as an insurer charge, it may need to be filed with the State as a rate. Wisconsin Statutes Section 625.13.

Certificate of Release (of Mortgage)

If anyone other than the lender (such as a title agent, settlement agent, underwriter or attorney) has the authority to release the security instrument, please describe.

Only the lender has authority to satisfy a mortgage. A title insurance company has the ability in certain cases to record an affidavit of satisfaction to clear a residential mortgage from the property records.  Wis. Stat. §708.15.

Deeds

Please describe the kinds of deeds that are customary for commercial and residential transactions.  Please describe the kinds of deeds that are generally not insurable.

General warranty deeds, limited warranty deeds, quit claim deeds are available and used. Insurance will be generally available with these deeds.   

Joinder of Spouses

If a non-title holding spouse is required to join in the execution of a deed or a security instrument, please describe.  Any analogous rights, such as those in a civil union or equivalent, should also be addressed. 

The non-record spouse is required to join in the conveyance (deed or mortgage) of the homestead. Wisconsin Statutes Section 706.02 (1) (f).

Mortgage Tax

Is there a mortgage tax in your state?  If yes, is it uniform across the state or does it vary?  If it is uniform, please describe.  

Wisconsin does not have a mortgage tax.

Payment Customs

Who customarily pays for:
(a) Owner’s Policy?
(b) Transfer Tax & Recording Fee?
(c) Survey Charges?
(d) Closing/Settlement Fees?
 

(a) Owner’s Policy? —Standard Residential Purchase Agreement calls for Seller to pay.
(b) Transfer Tax & Recording Fee? —Grantor is responsible by statute for the Transfer Tax (Wis. Stat. Sec. 77.22).  Recording fee charges will vary depending on what is needed.
(c) Survey Charges? – Negotiable, not a mandated charge.
(d) Closing/Settlement Fees? –-In a sale, both buyer and seller can have their own closing charge.

Policy Countersignatures

Please describe any statutory or regulatory requirements for countersignatures in order to issue the policy (for example, residency requirements).

There are no requirements for who can countersign per statute.  Presumably, it would be anyone who is authorized by the Company.

Real Estate Taxes

Please describe the general tax year, due dates, and delinquency dates, including lien dates and payment cycle.

Real estate taxes become a lien on January 1 of the year when taxes are levied.  It is common to pay the taxes in two installments (January 31 and July 31).  See Chapter 70 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

Search and Examination Fees

Is it permissible and/or customary to charge a separate search and/or examination fee, and under what circumstances?  If your jurisdiction is all-inclusive, please state that.

Search and exam fees are customary.

Search Requirements

Is there a minimum period of time for a title search required: (a) by state law, (b) pursuant to marketable record title acts, or (c) by any other applicable title examination standards (e.g., state bar association)?  Please respond to each category.  If a minimum search period exists for any category, please state it.

(A)    No mandated state minimums.
(B)   Marketable Title Act (Wis. Stat. Sec. 893.33) 40 years for easements and covenants, 30 years for other interests.
(C)   There are no title standards in Wisconsin.

Security Instruments (Deed of Trust vs. Mortgage)

Please describe the customary and permissible form(s) of security instruments used in your state. 

Who can be listed as the trustee on the Deed of Trust (e.g., residency and/or natural person requirements, etc.)? Can an underwriter or title agent be designated as the trustee, and, if so, is it customary?

Wisconsin uses a mortgage as its customary form of security instrument.

Standard Exceptions and Requirements

Please identify the standard exceptions and requirements that are customarily used in your state.

Standard exceptions:

1.  Defects, liens, encubrances, adverse claims or other matters, if any, created, first appearing in the public records or attaching subsequent to the Effective Date hereof but prior to the date the proposed Insured acquires for value of record the estate or interest or mortgage theron covered by this Commitment.

2.  Rights or claims of parties in possession not recorded in the Public Records.

3.  Easements or claims of easements not recorded in the Public Records.

4.  Any lien, or right to a lien, for services, labor, or material hertofore or hereafter furnished, imposed by law and not recorded in the Public Records.

5.  Taxes or special assessments which are not recorded as existing liens in the Public Records.

6.  Minerals of whatsoever kind, subsurface and surface substances, including but not limited to coal, lignite, oil, gas, uranium, clay, rock, sand and gravel in, on, under and that may be produced from the Land, together with all rights, privileges, and immunities relating thereto, whether or not appearing in the Public Records or listed in Schedule B.  The Company makes no representation as to the present ownership of any such interests.  There may be leases, grants, exceptions or reservations of interest that are not listed.

State-specific Policy Variations

If there are state-specific changes to the provisions in the ALTA policies (e.g., Arbitration, Minerals), please describe.

N/A

Title Insurance Form and Filing Regulations

Please describe the form and/or rate filing requirements, if any, related to policies and endorsements.  Please describe any applicable rating bureau. 

There is no rating bureau. Form filing is file and use (Wis. Stat. Sec. 631.20 ). Rate filing is use and file (Wis. Stat. Sec. 625.13).

Transfer Taxes

Is there a transfer tax in your state? If yes, is it uniform across the state or does it vary?  If it is uniform, please describe.

Yes. There is imposed on the grantor of real estate a real estate transfer fee at the rate of 30 cents for each $100 of value or fraction thereof on every conveyance not exempted. This fee is uniform across the state.  See Wis. Stat. Sec. 77.22 et seq.

Usury

Is usury coverage available?

Yes. Usury coverage is not prohibited under Wisconsin law.

Usury coverage is available: (i) if the loan is made to a corporation or limited liability company; (ii) if the interest rate of the loan is 12% or less; or (iii) if the principal indebtedness of a loan exceeds $150,000.00 and is not secured by a 1-4 family dwelling in which the borrower resides (Wis. Statute Sec. 138.05). 

Withholding Taxes

What are your state’s requirements, if any, with regard to withholding proceeds from a sale, similar to but not including FIRPTA?

There are no state-specific requirements to mandate withholding of sale proceeds by a closing agent. 

Witness Requirements

Are witnesses required on a deed or security instrument?  If so, please describe.

Witnesses are not required.

All content on Virtual Underwriter is subject to the terms shown here.