CHAPTER 128
CREDITORS' ACTIONS
128.001   Definitions.
128.01   Jurisdiction.
128.02   Assignment; mistakes; amendments.
128.03   Liens by legal proceedings; assignment.
128.05   Assignee's consent, recording copy of assignment.
128.06   Assignee required to comply, when.
128.07   Preferred creditors.
128.08   Receiver; custodian.
128.09   Bond.
128.10   Meetings of creditors; removal or death of receiver.
128.11   Provisional remedies.
128.12   Dismissal; intervention.
128.13   Inventory of assets and list of creditors.
128.14   Notice; injunction; time of filing claims.
128.15   Objections to claims; appeal; secured claims.
128.16   Discovery.
128.17   Order of distribution.
128.18   Liens.
128.19   Title to property.
128.20   Settlement of receiver's or assignee's accounts.
128.21   Voluntary proceedings by wage earners for amortization of debts.
128.25   Uniform act governing secured creditor's dividends in liquidation proceedings.
128.001 128.001 Definitions. In this chapter:
128.001(1) (1)Insolvent. A person is considered “insolvent" whenever any of the following conditions is met:
128.001(1)(a) (a) The aggregate of the person's property, exclusive of any property that the person may have conveyed, transferred, concealed or removed, or permitted to be concealed or removed, with intent to defraud, hinder or delay the person's creditors, shall not, at a fair valuation be sufficient in amount to pay the person's debts.
128.001(1)(b) (b) An execution against the person or the person's property is returned unsatisfied.
128.001(1)(c) (c) The person makes an assignment for the benefit of creditors.
128.001(2) (2)Petition. “Petition" means a petition for the appointment of a receiver under this chapter.
128.001 History History: 1997 a. 253.
128.01 128.01 Jurisdiction. The circuit courts shall have supervision of proceedings under this chapter and may make all necessary orders and judgments therefor; and all assignments for the benefit of creditors shall be subject to this chapter.
128.01 History History: 1977 c. 449.
128.01 Annotation This chapter does not encroach upon the field occupied by the federal bankruptcy act merely because the chapter provides for a distribution, either voluntary or not, of assets of an insolvent corporation among its creditors. Gelatt v. DeDakis, 77 Wis. 2d 578, 254 N.W.2d 171 (1977).
128.01 Annotation Chapter 128: Wisconsin's Bankruptcy Alternative. Murrell. Wis. Law. May 2008.
128.01 Annotation Chapter 128: A Change Will Do Us Good. Furay. Wis. Law. June 2019.
128.02 128.02 Assignment; mistakes; amendments.
128.02(1)(1)Voluntary assignments for the benefit of creditors may be made to an assignee who is a resident of this state, who shall, before taking possession of the property assigned and before taking upon himself or herself any trust conferred by the assignment, file the assignment and deliver to the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which such assignor resides or has his or her principal place of business at the time of the assignment, a bond as required by s. 128.09.
128.02(2) (2)No assignment shall be void because of any defect, informality or mistake in the assignment or in the bond, inventory or list of creditors accompanying the assignment. The court may direct the amendment of the assignment or of any other document to effect the intention of the assignor or assignee, or to obtain a distribution of the assignor's assets as provided in this chapter, and any such amendment shall relate back to the time of the execution of the document. No mistake in filing a copy instead of an original or any like mistake or inadvertent failure to comply with this chapter shall void the assignment.
128.02(3) (3)
128.02(3)(a)(a) No creditor shall, in case a debtor has attempted to make an assignment for the benefit of creditors, or in case of the insolvency of any debtor, by attachment, garnishment or otherwise, obtain priority over other creditors upon the assignment being adjudged void, or in consequence of any sale, lien or security being adjudged void.
128.02(3)(b) (b) In all cases described in par. (a), the property of the debtor shall be administered for the ratable benefit of all of the debtor's creditors under the direction of the court by the assignee or by a receiver.
128.02 History History: 1993 a. 492; 1997 a. 253.
128.03 128.03 Liens by legal proceedings; assignment. When a lien has been obtained by legal proceedings against the property of a debtor the debtor may, within 30 days thereafter, make an assignment of all of the debtor's nonexempt property for the benefit of all of the debtor's creditors, whereupon the lien shall be dissolved and the property shall be turned over to the assignee.
128.03 History History: 1993 a. 492; 1997 a. 253.
128.05 128.05 Assignee's consent, recording copy of assignment.
128.05(1)(1)The assignee shall endorse in writing the assignee's acceptance of the assignment, and shall file the assignment with the clerk of circuit court in the county where the debtor has his or her residence or principal place of business. The court shall, upon the filing of the assignment, order the assignee to administer the debtor's estate pursuant to this chapter, and the assignee shall be vested with the powers of a receiver.
128.05(2) (2)A certified copy of an assignment filed under sub. (1) may be recorded in the office of the register of deeds of any county wherein lands are conveyed by the assignment in the same manner and with the same effect as other conveyances.
128.05 History History: 1993 a. 492; 1997 a. 253.
128.05 Annotation An assignee is a trustee for both the debtor and creditors, but must look primarily to the interests of creditors. Voluntary Assignment of Linton v. Schmidt, 88 Wis. 2d 183, 277 N.W.2d 136 (1979).
128.06 128.06 Assignee required to comply, when.
128.06(1)(1)The assignee under a voluntary assignment not previously filed under the provisions of this chapter shall upon petition of any creditor without proof of the insolvency of the assignor be required to file the assignment and comply with the provisions of this chapter.
128.07 128.07 Preferred creditors.
128.07(1)(1)Definitions. In this section:
128.07(1)(a) (a) A person shall be considered to have given a preference if, being insolvent, the person has made a transfer of any of his or her property, or has procured or permitted a judgment to be entered against him or her in favor of any other person, and the effect of the transfer or the enforcement of the judgment will be to enable any creditor to obtain a greater percentage of his or her debt than any other creditor of the same class.
128.07(1)(b) (b) “Recipient" means a person who receives a preference, or benefits from a preference, or that person's agent.
128.07(1)(c)1.1. “Transfer" means any of the following, whether made absolutely or conditionally, voluntarily or involuntarily, by or without judicial proceedings, as a conveyance, sale, assignment, payment, pledge, mortgage, lien, encumbrance, gift, security or otherwise:
128.07(1)(c)1.a. a. The sale or other disposal of or parting with property, an interest in property or the possession of property.
128.07(1)(c)1.b. b. The fixing of a lien upon property or upon an interest in property.
128.07(1)(c)2. 2. The retention of a security title to property delivered to a debtor shall be considered a transfer permitted by the debtor.
128.07(2) (2)If the debtor has given a preference within 4 months before the filing of a petition, or an assignment, after the filing of the petition and before the appointment of a receiver, or after the filing of an assignment and before the qualification of the assignee, and the recipient has reasonable cause to believe that the enforcement of the judgment or transfer would effect a preference, the judgment shall be voidable by the receiver or assignee, and the receiver or assignee may recover the property or its value from the recipient.
128.07(4) (4)A transfer of property other than real property shall be considered to have been made or permitted at the time when it became so far perfected that no subsequent lien upon the property obtainable by legal or equitable proceedings on a simple contract could become superior to the rights of the transferee. A transfer of real property shall be considered to have been made or permitted when it became so far perfected that no subsequent bona fide purchase from the debtor could create rights in the property superior to the rights of the transferee. If any transfer of real property is not so perfected against a bona fide purchase, or if any transfer of other property is not so perfected against such liens by legal or equitable proceedings prior to the filing of a petition initiating a proceeding in insolvency, it shall be considered to have been made immediately before the filing of the petition.
128.07 History History: 1993 a. 492; 1997 a. 253.
128.07 Annotation A preference is voidable under sub. (2) if an ordinarily prudent business person would, under the circumstances, have reasonable cause to believe both that the transferor is insolvent and that the effect of the transfer would be to enable the recipient to obtain a greater percentage of its debt than any other creditor of the same class. Freund v. Nasonville Dairy, Inc., 2019 WI App 55, 389 Wis. 2d 35, 934 N.W.2d 913, 18-1215.
128.07 Annotation Circumstantial factors may support a finding under sub. (2) that a creditor had reasonable cause to believe a transfer would effect a preference. Facts relevant to such a determination can include: 1) the relation of the parties; 2) their intimacy or lack of it; 3) the usual or unusual nature of the transfer; 4) the opportunities of the creditor for knowledge; 5) the participation of the creditor, if any, in the debtor's business; and 6) the credibility and forthrightness of the witnesses as to the disclosure of relevant facts within their knowledge. Freund v. Nasonville Dairy, Inc., 2019 WI App 55, 389 Wis. 2d 35, 934 N.W.2d 913, 18-1215.
128.07 Annotation Because the preference provisions of this section do not conflict with the bankruptcy code, they are not preempted by it. Ready Fixtures Co. v. Stevens Cabinets, 488 F. Supp. 2d 787 (2007).
128.08 128.08 Receiver; custodian.
128.08(1)(1)The court within the proper county may sequestrate the property of a debtor and appoint a receiver therefor:
128.08(1)(a) (a) When an execution against a judgment debtor is returned unsatisfied in whole or in part.
128.08(1)(b) (b) When a corporation has been dissolved or is insolvent or is in imminent danger of insolvency or has forfeited its corporate rights.
128.08(2) (2)Upon application duly made, the court shall appoint as receiver the person nominated by the petitioning creditor or creditors, subject to s. 128.10.
128.08 Annotation A defendant who was notified of the proceeding to appoint a receiver and participated in the proceedings cannot, after the lapse of one year, object to irregularities. Home Bank v. Becker, 48 Wis. 2d 1, 179 N.W.2d 855 (1970).
128.08 Annotation Due process procedures required for determination of receivership are not required for selection of a receiver. Anchor Coatings, Inc. v. De Gelleke Co., 71 Wis. 2d 333, 237 N.W.2d 725 (1976).
128.08 Annotation The power recognized by sub. (1) is inherent in the courts. Northridge Bank v. Community Eye Care Center, 91 Wis. 2d 298, 282 N.W.2d 632 (Ct. App. 1979).
128.09 128.09 Bond. In order to qualify, the receiver or assignee shall give to and file with the clerk of the court a bond sufficient to cover all property likely to come into the receiver's or assignee's hands, conditioned in the usual manner with surety to be approved by the judge having supervision of the proceedings.
128.09 History History: 1993 a. 492.
128.10 128.10 Meetings of creditors; removal or death of receiver.
128.10(1)(1)The court may provide for hearings and meetings of creditors to elect a receiver or to pass upon matters submitted to creditors by a majority vote in number and amount of claims.
128.10(2) (2)The court may, upon notice and hearing, remove any receiver or assignee who is shown to be incompetent or to have become disqualified, or to have wasted or misapplied any of the trust estate; and shall remove any assignee or receiver upon the application of a majority of the creditors who shall represent a majority in number and amount of claims against said estate, and order a settlement of the receiver's or assignee's account and the surrender of all the estate to a successor, and shall appoint the person named in such petition or some suitable person as the receiver's or assignee's successor, who shall qualify in the manner provided by this chapter; and in place of any receiver or assignee who shall die or be removed, may appoint another who shall give bond and administer said estate pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
128.10 History History: 1993 a. 492.
128.11 128.11 Provisional remedies. In all actions authorized by this chapter, appropriate provisional remedies may be had and final relief administered to the equal distribution of all assets recovered among the creditors of the debtor, and the court may make such orders for the payment of costs and expenses as may be just. An action or proceeding authorized by this chapter for the benefit of all creditors may be taken by a creditor although the creditor's demand is not due at the commencement thereof.
128.11 History History: 1993 a. 492; 1997 a. 253.
128.12 128.12 Dismissal; intervention.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 186 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on November 3, 2020. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after November 3, 2020, are designated by NOTES. (Published 11-3-20)