State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wisconsin > 766 > 766.56

766.56

766.56 Credit transactions with married persons.

766.56(1)

(1) If a spouse applies for credit that will result in an obligation described under s. 766.55 (2) (b), the creditor, in evaluating the spouse's creditworthiness, shall consider all marital property available under s. 766.55 (2) (b) to satisfy the obligation in the same manner that the creditor, in evaluating the creditworthiness of an unmarried credit applicant, considers the property of an unmarried credit applicant available to satisfy the obligation.

766.56(2)

(2)

766.56(2)(a)

(a) The recording, under s. 59.43 (1) (r), of a marital property agreement or a unilateral statement or revocation under s. 766.59 does not constitute actual or constructive notice to 3rd parties. This paragraph does not affect the application of ch. 706.

766.56(2)(b)

(b) A creditor shall include in every written application for an extension of credit that is governed by chs. 421 to 427 a notice that no provision of a marital property agreement, a unilateral statement under s. 766.59 or a court decree under s. 766.70 adversely affects the interest of the creditor unless the creditor, prior to the time the credit is granted, is furnished a copy of the agreement, statement or decree or has actual knowledge of the adverse provision when the obligation to the creditor is incurred. The notice requirement under this paragraph does not apply to renewals, extensions or modifications or the use of an open-end credit plan.

766.56(2)(c)

(c) If the applicant spouse in any credit transaction discloses the existence of a currently effective marital property agreement or a decree issued under s. 766.70 and provides a copy of it to the creditor prior to the time credit is granted or, in the case of an open-end plan, as defined under s. 766.555 (1) (a), prior to the time the open-end plan is entered into, the creditor is bound by any property classification, characterization of an obligation, or management and control right contained in the agreement or decree. If a spouse discloses the existence of an agreement or decree after credit is granted or an open-end plan is entered into, the creditor is not bound under this paragraph by the agreement or decree with respect to that obligation or open-end plan, including any renewals, extensions, modifications or use of the obligation or open-end plan.

766.56(2)(d)

(d) When a person applies for credit, the creditor may inquire as to whether the person is married, unmarried or separated, under a decree of legal separation.

766.56(3)

(3)

766.56(3)(a)

(a) In this subsection, "extends credit" means that an open-end credit plan, as defined under s. 421.301 (27), is established after the determination date, or that credit other than open-end credit is extended after the determination date. The term does not include renewals, extensions, modifications or the use of an open-end credit plan. This subsection does not apply to an open-end credit plan described under s. 766.555 (2) or (3).

766.56(3)(b)

(b) Except as provided in par. (c), if a creditor extends credit to a spouse in a credit transaction governed by chs. 421 to 427 and the extension of credit may result in an obligation described under s. 766.55 (2) (b), the creditor shall give the nonapplicant spouse written notice of the extension of credit before any payment is due. The notice requirement may be satisfied by providing a copy of the instrument, document, agreement or contract evidencing the obligation to pay or any required credit disclosure which is given to the applicant spouse, or by providing a separate writing briefly describing the nature of the credit extended. Notice is considered given on the date it is mailed to the address of the nonapplicant spouse provided to the creditor by the applicant spouse. If the applicant spouse informs the creditor that the spouses reside at the same address, the notice may be enclosed in an envelope addressed to the nonapplicant spouse or both spouses.

766.56(3)(c)

(c) Notice is considered given under par. (b) if the nonapplicant spouse has actual knowledge that the credit is extended or waives the notice requirement in a signed writing.

766.56(4)

(4)

766.56(4)(a)

(a) Any financial organization or any other credit-granting commercial institution that violates sub. (1) is subject to the penalties under s. 138.20.

766.56(4)(b)

(b) Except as provided in par. (c), a creditor that fails to give notice under sub. (2) (b) is liable to each applicant spouse in the amount of $25. Except as provided in par. (c), a creditor that fails to give notice under sub. (3) is liable to the nonapplicant spouse in the amount of $25.

766.56(4)(c)

(c) A creditor is not subject to a penalty under par. (b) if the creditor shows by a preponderance of the evidence that failure to give notice was unintentional and resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid such error.

766.56 - ANNOT.

History: 1983 a. 186; 1985 a. 37 ss. 100 to 108, 187; 1995 a. 201.

766.56 - ANNOT.

A creditor's failure to provide the non-applicant spouse notice under sub. (3) (b) does not prevent the obligation from being classified as marital and does not affect the creditor's right to recovery. The non-applicant's only remedy is under sub. (4) (b). Park Bank-West v. Mueller, 151 Wis. 2d 476, 444 N.W.2d 754 (Ct. App. 1989).