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Wisconsin’s Marital Property Law

Signature Requirements

The applicant spouse must sign the writing evidencing the consumer credit transaction and must receive a copy of the document that evidences the customer’s obligation to pay before any payment is due. The non-applicant spouse need not sign the writing and need not receive a copy of the document evidencing the applicant’s obligation to pay, unless the non-applicant spouse signed that writing or a separate guarantee. But note, providing a copy of the contract to the non-applicant spouse is one way to give notice of the extension of consumer credit.

Adobe PDF Document  Section 766.56(3)(b), Wis. Stats. (PDF: external link) requires that a written notice be sent to the non-applicant spouse of the extension of closed-end credit granted or open-end credit accounts established after January 1, 1986. This has been termed the "tattletale" notice. This notice must be sent before any payment is due and addressed to the non-applicant spouse. The notice requirement may be satisfied by providing:

1. a copy of the document evidencing the application to pay;

2. a copy of the credit disclosures given to the applicant; or

3. a brief description of the nature of the credit extended.

This notice is not required if the non-applicant has either actual knowledge of the credit or waives notice in writing. The notice does not apply to renewals, extensions or modifications of credit plans. The penalty for failure to comply is $25 to the non-applicant spouse.