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Wisconsin Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: I currently have a valid registered land contract for a house with one person.

But found out there’s a lien on the house with someone else. The person with the lien passed away recently. If I end up paying for the house who does the money go to? Or should I keep paying my land contract and he pays of the lien ?

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Feb 15, 2020

Land can be sold with liens attached to it. And whatever tax liens there are on the land will have to be satisfied before you or anyone else receives the deed.

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Do attorneys have to keep your files for a certain amount of time? What if they had something they never gave you?

Our attorney received a title in 2007 directly from another attorney and never gave it to us. He now says he no longer has the file.

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Jan 14, 2020

Since you asked the question under the heading of real estate law, I presume that the "title" is a deed conveying an interest in a parcel of real estate. Lawyers are not required to keep files indefinitely. The best practice for lawyers is to set forth their file retention policy in their... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: The offer says buyer to pay appraisal fee. Title company made me, the seller, pay it at closing

They called it a "closing cost". I had offered to pay up to a certain amount of closing costs. What now? This is part of the cost of buyer getting a mortgage.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jan 12, 2020

If the terms of the offer says the Buyer is responsible for the appraisal fee, then the Buyer should pay this cost. You should examine the offer to purchase carefully to be sure this is indeed what it says. It is possible the title company made a mistake in charging this amount to you instead of... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Have Neighbor that took out line fence on property without my knowledge, now claims 20ft of my property.

He piled all the barbed wire on my property. He asked my logger to cut my trees that he claims on my property.

Brian R. Zimmerman
Brian R. Zimmerman answered on Jan 6, 2020

You would have a claim against your neighbor for trespass and damages for removal of the fence if it was on your property. There may be additional damages for removal of trees.

The first step in these claims is usually to clearly identify the lot line through a survey that locates the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: I recently purchased a plot of land. It was listed with electric / sewer and lateral into lot.

Our builder just verified with the village that there is no sewer available and we will need a septic, Can I sue the seller to cover the cost of a perk test and septic system?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Dec 12, 2019

Check the Vacant Land Disclosure Report provided to you by the Seller and see if they listed sewer and septic available in the Seller's Vacant Land Disclosure Report. It should be listed on page 5, under item F(6) of the new Vacant Land Disclosure Report that went into use last year. If they listed... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: My husband has passed away, and both our names are on the mortgage. What do I have to do next?
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Dec 4, 2019

You should speak with an attorney who can examine the deed and help you file a form with the Register of Deeds that will remove your husband's name from the title, if the title was held as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, or as husband and wife as survivorship marital property. If you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Contracts, Consumer Law and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Home purchase: Can another person/name be added to title at closing?

Buying house, he is on the loan and I am not. The bank just said I cannot be put on the title because we are not married? Is this law or policy? Thank you!

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Dec 4, 2019

If two parties are not legally married, I do not recommend jointly owning property with someone who is also not liable for the mortgage on the property. Once you are married, your husband can add you to the title, if he wishes via deed. In Wisconsin we have a special form of ownership where married... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: The landowner beside of us is having their pines timbered and the workers cut about half an acre of our pines and has

The company timbering the line trees has cut about half an acre of our pine trees (roughly 150 pines) even though the trees and boundaries were clearly marked. After speaking with the owner and setting up a day to discuss this, he knowingly sent his workers back on our property to collect all the... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Dec 1, 2019

Hello, I am sorry to hear this happened to you. You posted in the Real Estate Law forum for Wisconsin. It is possible that you live in Wisconsin, however if this property damage occurred in Carrol County, Virginia, you are going to need to find a lawyer licensed in Virginia to help you. I suggest... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Municipal Law for Wisconsin on
Q: What would total be on property tax bill w/interest for 8 yrs. on 11hundred a yr not paid (1% mo 12% yr) Vernon Cty, WI

If I hadn't been able to pay my property taxes for 8 yrs (and assuming they haven't foreclosed), at $1,100 a yr, what would the total bill be at the end of 8 years, with interest at 1% a month and 12% a year, in Vernon County WI.?

D. Mathew Blackburn
D. Mathew Blackburn answered on Nov 24, 2019

calculator.com

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: My Brother and I inherited my parent's cottage in Northern Wisconsin via an irrevocable trust.

Is it really necessary to hire a real estate attorney to title the property in our name or can we just contact the clerk and have it done on our own? The title is clean and the property has been in the family for 43 years.

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Nov 20, 2019

The trust will determine what happens once your parents passed. You should contact an attorney to help you liquidate the trust, if that is what the document requires.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: When the seller rejects an amendment, what happens?

What right does the seller still have? Recently we rejected an amendment, buyer is now threatening court, closing, or cash to end this problem. I would like to know what we can do legally.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Oct 22, 2019

In general, a Seller has no legal obligation to accept an amendment the Buyer may offer, after the terms of the Offer to Purchase have been agreed to. The Seller's obligation is only the terms of the original Offer to Purchase signed by both parties. The Buyer may have other legal remedies based on... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Can you transfer your half ownership in a house to the other half owner with a quit claim deed or a title transfer?

In-laws put home in life estate to two sons about 10 years ago. Mom has passed, dad has been in nursing home for a year and will never be able to live on his own again. Husband wants to sell his half of the home to his brother. We need the easiest way to do this, without a realtor if possible.

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Oct 15, 2019

Yes, you may transfer an interest with a quit claim deed although that might not be the safest way to handle this matter.

Anytime someone is paying money for an interest in property they are well advised to obtain a Warranty Deed and a title insurance policy - even in transactions between...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Is a title company required to provide copies of the signed closing documents to the seller?

We closed on the sale of our home but we never received any copies of the documents we signed at closing. The title company is ignoring our request. Can they do that?

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Oct 10, 2019

I've never heard of a title company not providing copies of signed documents to the Seller. You are entitled to a copy of every document that you signed. You are not entitled to a copy of loan documents signed by Buyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: have house with ex boyfriend, both names on the house and deed, forced me out six months ago, legal advice get house

He has stopped paying the mortgage and is a month behind, how do I legally obtain my house back? I am also the main borrower on the house loan, but both of our names are on the deed. He also stopped paying his half of the loan payments.

Gary Kollin
Gary Kollin answered on Oct 7, 2019

You most definitely need a lawyer.

If you also own the house, I cannot understand how he FORCED you out

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Am I obligated to purchase a property if it fails sewer and well inspection even if they agree to fix it?

The down payment has been made and the sale was contingent on sewer and well, and we no longer want it

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Sep 22, 2019

The answer to any contract question requires a review of the contract.

Assuming that well and septic contingencies are included in the offer then your rights are set forth under the contingencies. If the contingencies grant the Seller the "right to cure", then the Seller may cure the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Products Liability for Wisconsin on
Q: I own a house in Oconto County, WI. I want to add my fiance to the deed. He has bad credit. Ramifications?

Can a lien be placed on my property because of his bad debt? He is not on the mortgage.

Vincent Gallo
Vincent Gallo answered on Sep 3, 2019

If he has bad credit, that could effectively "infect" your ownership of the house, to a point where someone who has a judgment as against him, could effectively execute on the judgment and force the sale of the house. So think about this carefully first. Also, once he is added to the Deed, he's... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: My father owns land in Puerto Rico penulas. He has the deed I believe and wants to pass the land to myself and child.

Can he write a will to do so or would we need to transfer the deed?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Aug 29, 2019

Is your father currently living in Wisconsin or in Puerto Rico? If he is living in Wisconsin, he can execute a Will that leaves the land to you at death. However, upon his death, this will require you to open two probates, one in Wisconsin for his Wisconsin property and a probate action in Puerto... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Is it a law in WI to sell others property without a real estate license and what can be the outcome if caught?

What is the fine or jail time per occurrence? Is it a felony?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Aug 21, 2019

Wis. Stat. 452.17 provides the penalties for selling real estate without a license and reads as follows:

452.17  Penalties.

(1)  Any person who engages in or follows the business or occupation of, or advertises or holds himself or herself out as or acts temporarily or otherwise...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Can you separate ownership of house and land with deed and title documents? Is there another process?

Wisconsin lot with home.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Aug 14, 2019

In Wisconsin, any permanent structure on the land is included with the deed to the ground beneath it. The only exceptions I know of are mobile homes, where a separate title may be issued for the mobile home by the Department of Safety and Professional Services. It depends on whether the mobile home... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a WI Realtor force a seller to purchase title ins for new owner? Why can’t new owner purchase their own title ins?

Are the Realtor and/or WI Title Comp supposed to inform seller with details of all closing costs? In my case, my specific closing cost questions weren’t answered.

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Jul 10, 2019

Your obligation to provide title insurance to the Buyer comes from a standard provision in the Offer to Purchase requiring Seller to provide evidence of title to the Buyer in the form of a title insurance policy. If you were working with a listing agent I agree that it seems reasonable to expect... Read more »

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