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What is the Wisconsin Consumer Act?

The Wisconsin Consumer Act is a state law that regulates consumer credit transactions and debt collection. Consumer credit transactions are transactions that include a finance charge or are payable in more than four installments. Examples of consumer credit transactions are loans, credit cards, credit sales, second mortgages and leases.

Not all credit transactions are covered by the WCA. Transactions not covered are those that are over $25,000, made to businesses or are secured by first lien real estate mortgages. The WCA also does not cover non-credit issues, such as those involving checking or savings accounts.

The WCA was enacted in 1973 and is widely regarded as the most comprehensive law of its type in the nation. The Act is contained in chapters 421 through 427 of the Wisconsin Statutes

Major provisions of the WCA:

  • Require detailed disclosures in credit contracts and advertisements,
  • Limit certain interest and non-interest charges assessed in credit transactions,
  • Provide a three day right to cancel certain contracts,
  • Require judicial process in certain repossessions, and
  • Prohibit certain collection practices.