(9) Wrongful levy.
If the department determines that property has been wrongfully levied upon, the department may return the property at any time, or may return an amount of money equal to the amount of money levied upon.
(10) Preservation of remedies.
The availability of the remedy under this section does not abridge the right of the department to pursue other remedies.
Any person who removes, deposits or conceals or aids in removing, depositing or concealing any property upon which a levy is authorized under this section with intent to evade or defeat the assessment or collection of any debt is guilty of a Class I felony and shall be liable to the state for the costs of prosecution.
(12) Notice before levy.
If no appeal or other proceeding for review permitted by law is pending and the time for taking an appeal or petitioning for review has expired, the department shall make a demand to the debtor for payment of the debt which is subject to levy and give notice that the department may pursue legal action for collection of the debt against the debtor. The department shall make the demand for payment and give the notice at least 10 days prior to the levy, personally or by any type of mail service which requires a signature of acceptance, at the address of the debtor as it appears on the records of the department. The demand for payment and notice shall include a statement of the amount of the debt, including interest and penalties, and the name of the debtor who is liable for the debt. The debtor's refusal or failure to accept or receive the notice does not prevent the department from making the levy. Notice prior to levy is not required for a subsequent levy on any debt of the same debtor within one year of the date of service of the original levy.
The department shall serve the levy upon the debtor and 3rd party by personal service or by any type of mail service which requires a signature of acceptance.
Personal service shall be made upon an individual, other than a minor or incapacitated person, by delivering a copy of the levy to the debtor or 3rd party personally; by leaving a copy of the levy at the debtor's dwelling or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion residing there; by leaving a copy of the levy at the business establishment with an officer or employee of the establishment; or by delivering a copy of the levy to an agent authorized by law to receive service of process.
The department representative who serves the levy shall certify service of process on the notice of levy form and the person served shall acknowledge receipt of the certification by signing and dating it. If service is made by mail, the return receipt is the certificate of service of the levy.
The debtor's or 3rd party's failure to accept or receive service of the levy does not invalidate the levy.
(14) Answer by 3rd party.
Within 20 days after the service of the levy upon a 3rd party, the 3rd party shall file an answer with the department stating whether the 3rd party is in possession of or obligated with respect to property or rights to property of the debtor, including a description of the property or the rights to property and the nature and dollar amount of any such obligation. If the 3rd party is an insurance company, the insurance company shall file an answer with the department within 45 days after the service of the levy.
(15) Duration of levy.
A levy is effective from the date on which the levy is first served on the 3rd party until the liability out of which the levy arose is satisfied, or until the levy is released, whichever occurs first.
In the case of forfeitures imposed upon an employing unit under s. 108.04 (11) (c)
, an individual debtor is entitled to an exemption from levy of the greater of the following:
A subsistence allowance of 75% of the debtor's disposable earnings;
An amount equal to 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage for each full week of the debtor's pay period; or
In the case of earnings for a period other than a week, a subsistence allowance computed so that it is equivalent to that provided in subd. 2.
using a multiple of the federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by rule of the department.
In the case of benefit overpayments or a penalty imposed under s. 108.04 (11) (bh)
, an individual debtor is entitled to an exemption from levy of 80% of the debtor's disposable earnings, except that:
A debtor's disposable earnings are totally exempt from levy if the debtor's wages are below the federal income guideline established under 42 USC 9902
(2) for a household of the debtor's size or the levy would cause that result.
Upon petition by a debtor demonstrating hardship, the department may increase the portion of the debtor's disposable earnings that are exempt from levy.
The department may decrease or eliminate the exemption from levy under this paragraph if a final determination has been issued under s. 108.09
or a judgment has been entered under s. 108.24 (1)
in which the debtor has been found guilty of making a false statement or representation to obtain benefits and the benefits and any assessment under s. 108.04 (11) (cm)
have not been paid or reimbursed at the time that the levy is issued, unless the fund's treasurer has written off the debt under s. 108.16 (3) (a)
The department shall by rule prescribe a methodology for application of the exemption applicable to a levy under subd. 1. a.
at the time that the levy is issued.
The first $1,000 of an account in a depository institution is exempt from any levy to recover a benefit overpayment or penalty imposed under s. 108.04 (11) (bh)
. No other property is exempt from levy except as provided in sub. (16)
(18) Restriction on employment penalties by reason of levy.
No employer may discharge or otherwise discriminate with respect to the terms and conditions of employment against any employee by reason of the fact that his or her earnings have been subject to levy for any one levy or because of compliance with any provision of this section. Whoever willfully violates this subsection may be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than 9 months or both.
Any debtor who is subject to a levy proceeding made by the department has the right to appeal the levy proceeding under s. 108.10
. The appeal is limited to questions of prior payment of the debt that the department is proceeding against, and mistaken identity of the debtor. The levy is not stayed pending an appeal in any case where property is secured through the levy.
(20) Cost of levy.
Whenever property is secured by means of a levy, any 3rd party in possession of the debtor's property is entitled to collect from the debtor a levy fee of $5 for each levy in which a debt is satisfied by means of a single payment and $15 for each levy in which a debt is satisfied by means of more than one payment. The fee is payable from the property levied against and is in addition to the amount of the levy. The 3rd party may charge the fee to the debtor at the time the party transfers the proceeds of the levy to the department.
History: 1989 a. 77
; 1997 a. 187
; 2001 a. 35
; 2003 a. 197
; 2005 a. 86
; 2011 a. 198
; s. 13.92 (2) (i); s. 35.17 correction in (1) (b).
Preference of required payments.
In the event of an employer's dissolution, reorganization, bankruptcy, receivership, assignment for benefit of creditors, judicially confirmed extension proposal or composition, or any analogous situation including the administration of estates in circuit courts, the payments required of the employer under this chapter shall have preference over all claims of general creditors and shall be paid next after the payment of preferred claims for wages. If the employer is indebted to the federal government for taxes due under the federal unemployment tax act and a claim for the taxes has been duly filed, the amount of contributions which should be paid to allow the employer the maximum offset against the taxes shall have preference over preferred claims for wages and shall be on a par with debts due the United States, if by establishing the preference the offset against the federal tax can be secured under s. 3302 (a) (3) of the federal unemployment tax act.
History: 1977 c. 449
Any person who knowingly makes a false statement or representation to obtain any benefit payment under this chapter, either for himself or herself or for any other person, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500 or imprisoned not more than 90 days, or both; and each such false statement or representation constitutes a separate offense. This penalty is in addition to any penalty imposed under s. 108.04 (11) (bh)
Except as provided in sub. (2m)
and s. 108.16 (8) (m)
, any person who knowingly makes a false statement or representation in connection with any report or as to any information duly required by the department under this chapter, or who knowingly refuses or fails to keep any records or to furnish any reports or information duly required by the department under this chapter, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500, or imprisoned not more than 90 days or both; and each such false statement or representation and every day of such refusal or failure constitutes a separate offense.
Any employer described in s. 108.18 (2) (c)
or engaged in the painting or drywall finishing of buildings or other structures who willfully provides false information to the department for the purpose of misclassifying or attempting to misclassify an individual who is an employee of the employer as a nonemployee shall be fined $25,000 for each violation.
Whoever does any of the following shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 90 days or both:
Makes a deduction from the wages of an employee because of liability for contributions or payments in lieu of contributions under this chapter or because of the employee's potential right to benefits.
Knowingly refuses or fails to furnish to an employee any notice, report or information duly required under this chapter by the department to be furnished to such employee.
Directly or indirectly, by promise of reemployment or by threat not to employ, to terminate, or not to reemploy or by any other means, attempts to induce an employee to:
Refrain from claiming or accepting benefits, participating in an audit or investigation by the department, or testifying in a hearing held under s, 108.09 or 108.10.
Discriminates or retaliates against an individual because the individual claims benefits, participates in an audit or investigation by the department under this chapter, testifies in a hearing under s. 108.09
, or exercises any other right under this chapter.
Each violation of this subsection constitutes a separate offense.
Any person who, without authorization of the department, permits inspection or disclosure of any record relating to the administration of this chapter that is provided to the person by the department under s. 108.14 (7) (a)
, and any person who, without authorization of the commission, permits inspection or disclosure of any record relating to the administration of this chapter that is provided to the person by the commission under s. 108.14 (7) (a)
, shall be fined not less than $25 nor more than $500 or may be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than one year or both. Each such unauthorized inspection or disclosure constitutes a separate offense.
The legislature reserves the right to amend or repeal all or any part of this chapter at any time; and there shall be no vested private right of any kind against such amendment or repeal. All the rights, privileges or immunities conferred by this chapter or by acts done pursuant thereto shall exist subject to the power of the legislature to amend or repeal this chapter at any time.