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How to Settle a Debt in Wisconsin

Sarah Edwards | January 06, 2023

That feeling when you settle your debt in Wisconsin ^^

Summary: Owing a debt you can’t afford to repay is stressful. However, there are options available, like debt settlement, that can allow you to rebuild your credit and move forward. If you’ve been sued for debt in Wisconsin, SoloSettle can help you settle the debt once and for all. Just be sure to respond to the lawsuit with an Answer, send a settlement offer, and get the agreement in writing.

Millions of Americans hold credit card debt, car loans, mortgages, and medical debts they can’t afford to repay. While everyone tries to keep up with their financial obligations, sometimes things get out of hand — and it becomes impossible not to fall behind.

Once you stop making regular payments, your creditors will increase collections activities against you or sell your debt to a debt collector. In some cases, they may try to sue you.

Facing a debt lawsuit in Wisconsin is stressful. If you don’t take action, your creditor may obtain a judgment against you, allowing them to garnish your wages or freeze your bank account.

Fortunately, you can attempt to settle the debt before your court date and avoid a judgment. Here’s how.

Follow these 3 steps to settle a debt in Wisconsin

When you’re facing a debt lawsuit, there are three steps you need to follow to settle before your court date:

  1. Respond to the debt lawsuit with an Answer.
  2. Start the debt settlement negotiation process.
  3. Get the settlement agreement in writing.

Below, we will break down each of these steps in detail. You can also learn more by watching this video:

1. Respond to the debt lawsuit with an Answer

Whenever a creditor or debt collector files a lawsuit against you, they’ll begin with a Complaint. The Complaint will list why they’re suing you, which probably concerns defaulting on some type of obligation, usually a loan, credit card, or medical debt. They’ll list the principal balance plus any interest and fees on your account.

Even though you plan to settle your debt well before your court date, you should still respond to the Complaint by filing an Answer into the case. An Answer provides your defense for nonpayment of the obligation. It stops the judge from granting a default judgment against you.

In Wisconsin, you have 20 days to respond to your debt lawsuit before you lose automatically.

There are multiple defenses you can use to defend yourself in an Answer. Some of the most common include improper validation of the debt or a statute of limitations expiration. However, others may be appropriate to your situation.

SoloSuit can help you draft and file an Answer in all 50 states.

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2. Start the debt settlement negotiation process

Your next step is deciding how much you can afford to pay in a settlement. Assess how much money you have in savings and how much cash you can come up with in the next few weeks. If you don’t have much extra money available, consider selling a few things you don’t need or asking family and friends for help.

We’ve found that consumers see the highest chance of success if they pay around 60% total value of their debt. For example, if you owe $3,000, you’ll offer $1,800 in a settlement.

When you begin negotiating for a settlement with your debt collector, keep in mind that they may counter your offer with one of their own. It’s not uncommon to go through several rounds of negotiation before reaching an agreement.

Make sure you don’t agree to any settlement you can’t afford. If you have extenuating circumstances that prevent you from paying 60% of your debt or more, explain them to the creditor or debt collector. You may be given more time to pay the settlement or offered another arrangement.

SoloSettle takes care of the settlement negotiations for you.

3. Get the settlement agreement in writing

Before sending any money to your creditor, make sure to get the settlement agreement in writing. Your contract should spell out all of the terms of your deal, including how much you’ll pay, when it’s due, and where you’ll submit the payment.

The agreement should also stipulate that the settlement waives all collection rights over the remaining debt balance. Your creditor won’t be able to pursue you for the rest of the obligation once you pay the settled amount.

You can draft your agreement and fill in the applicable information concerning your debt. Here’s a debt settlement agreement example, with a preview attached below, for your reference.

Debt Settlement Agreement Example

We advise that you ask your creditor to notarize the agreement, and get your signature notarized, too. That way, there are witnesses to the contract, giving it further credibility if your debt collector tries to renege on their end of the agreement.

Now, let’s look at an example of how to settle a Wisconsin debt.

Example: Tammy is being sued by Capital Management Services in Wisconsin for credit card debt. She uses SoloSuit to respond to the lawsuit before the 20-day deadline, giving herself time to work out a debt settlement. After doing some investigating into the debt, analyzing her finances, and researching previous debt settlements involving Capital Management, Tammy decides she can afford to settle the debt at 70% of the original amount. She uses SoloSettle to send and receive settlement offers to Capital Management Services. In her initial offer, Tammy states she can pay off 40% of the debt. This gives her room to negotiate, and after a few rounds of counteroffers, Capital Management accepts a settlement at 65% of the debt.

SoloSettle can help you settle your debt in Wisconsin

SoloSettle, powered by Solosuit, is a tech-based approach to debt settlement. Our software sends and receives debt settlement offers on your behalf and helps you negotiate the best deal for your circumstance. Once an agreement is reached, SoloSettle helps you manage the debt settlement agreement documentation and forwards your payment to the debt collector for you, helping you protect your personal financial information.

Check out this review from a real SoloSettle customer:

“I'm very thankful for SoloSettle. Having a third party negotiate the settlement was instrumental in resolving this case and saved me from two giant headaches: 1) I didn't have to deal with the plaintiff's lawyer and 2) I didn't have to go to court. I also love that the payment was processed through SoloSettle. I was nervous about sharing my personal financial data with the other side, but SoloSettle protected that for me. I hope I never get sued again, but if I do, I would use SoloSettle again in a heartbeat.”

Wisconsin debt collection and debt settlement laws can protect you

Like other states, Wisconsin abides by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which limits the actions debt collectors and creditors can take when collecting a debt. Among other limitations, debt collectors cannot:

  • Call a consumer before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. concerning a debt.
  • Harass a consumer by calling them repeatedly about an obligation.
  • Call a debtor more than seven times over seven days about a debt.
  • Contact a debtor at their workplace if the individual asks them not to.
  • Tell other people that the individual owes money.
  • Threaten to harm someone’s reputation for not paying a debt.

Wisconsin goes a bit further than other states with Wisconsin Statute § 427. Under the statute, debt collectors cannot take specific actions, including:

  • Initiating communication with an individual’s employer concerning their debt.
  • Claiming to possess a right to bring an action that they don’t have a right to.
  • Threatening criminal prosecution against the individual.
  • Using harassing or obscene language when communicating with the individual.

Debt collectors and creditors who violate the statute can face penalties, including up to $1,000 per violation and fines for emotional anguish or distress.

Debt collectors and creditors must also abide by the Wisconsin statute of limitations when attempting to collect a debt. According to Wisconsin Statute § 893.43, the statute of limitations on most consumer debts, including credit cards, personal loans, and medical debt, is six years.

Finally, the Federal Trade Commission has recently amended the Telemarketing Sales Rule to expand debt settlement regulations to all debt relief organizations and companies. All 50 states, including Louisiana, are governed by this Rule as it relates to debt settlement practice.

Under the new Rule, any company that provides debt relief services, namely debt settlement companies, cannot:

  • Charge upfront fees. Debt settlement companies cannot collect any fees from a consumer before the debt has been effectively settled or otherwise resolved.

  • Fail to disclose certain information about its services before a consumer enrolls in the program. This includes how much the service costs, how long it takes to see results, how much money must be saved before a settlement offer is made, consequences that may occur if the consumer fails to make payments on time, customer’s rights, and other important terms.

  • Misrepresent their services. No false or unsubstantiated claims can be made regarding a debt settlement company’s services.

What’s the best debt settlement company?

If you’re ready to take your debt by the reins and start the settlement process with the help of a debt settlement agency or company, you have a few options.


SoloSettle handles the negotiation process if you are facing a debt lawsuit. We communicate directly with your debt collectors or creditors, hammering out an agreement that fits your financial circumstances. Then, we’ll facilitate the repayment so that you won’t need to provide your banking information to the debt collector.

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to debt lawsuits.

National Debt Relief

National Debt Relief is a respected debt settlement company that negotiates settlements for people overwhelmed by debt. When you enroll in one of its programs, you’ll make monthly payments that the company will save toward settling your obligations. National Debt Relief charges fees between 15% and 25% for its services.

Freedom Debt Relief

Freedom Debt Relief is one of the largest debt settlement companies in the nation. Since 2002, the company has helped over 650,000 individuals settle their debts. When you enroll in one of its programs, you’ll make monthly payments toward debt settlement. Like National Debt Relief, it charges between 15% and 25% of the total value of your debt.

How can I contact my creditor to start debt settlement?

To begin the debt settlement process, you can contact your creditor or debt collector via phone, email, or letter.

We recommend email since it’s quick and will provide you with a record of your negotiations with the debt collector. In most cases, you’ll be able to negotiate a settlement within a day or two of starting an email conversation with your creditor.

However, if you don’t have much time, you can also handle your negotiations over the phone. We recommend that you record your conversation so that you have proof of it if the creditor later reneges on your deal. According to Wisconsin Statute § 968.31, only one party must consent to record the call. That individual will be you.

FAQs on Wisconsin debt settlement

Debt settlement can be a complex process. Many individuals have questions, especially if they’ve never attempted it before. Here are a few top inquiries from people seeking to settle a debt in Wisconsin.

Q. What percentage of debt should you offer to settle?

The more you offer your creditor, the more likely they are to agree to a settlement. We advise that you start with 60% of your total debt. However, offer what you can if you can’t afford that much. Your creditor will consider your offer and find a way to reach an agreement that works for both of you.

Q. How can I get out of debt in Wisconsin?

It takes effort to get out of debt; it won’t happen overnight. Settlement programs can free you from debts you are not able to pay in full. If you follow the program and make regular payments, you can be debt-free in four years or less.

Q. Is it better to settle a debt or pay it off?

It’s advantageous to pay the total amount of your debt rather than settle it. Even if you miss payments or pay late, paying your debt in full looks better to future creditors than settling it. However, settling debt is better than stopping payment entirely.

How to get debt relief in Wisconsin

If you have other questions about debt relief in Wisconsin, SoloSuit has answers. Here are a few of the guides we have available:

Debt settlement can help relieve your financial problems

While going through the debt settlement process can be nerve-racking, it can bring you relief from serious financial issues. You won’t need to worry about debt collectors or creditors calling you, and you can finally work toward rebuilding your credit score. It may take some time, but you’ll reclaim your financial health with some effort.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit. (We can help you in all 50 states.)

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