(1)   Any motor vehicle impounded under s. 344.14 (1m) may not be returned to the owner unless:

Terms Used In Wisconsin Statutes 344.185

  • Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
  • Person: includes all partnerships, associations and bodies politic or corporate. See Wisconsin Statutes 403.504
      (a)    An owner or holder of a security interest, mortgage or other interest who is first notified after the vehicle is impounded furnishes satisfactory proof to the secretary that one of the exceptions in s. 344.14 (2) applies and pays the expenses incurred by the department in impounding the vehicle; or
      (b)    The owner deposits the security required under s. 344.13 (3) and pays the expenses incurred by the department in impounding the vehicle.
      (a)    Any impounded vehicle which is not returned to the owner within 30 days after impoundment shall be sold by the department.
      (b)    If the owner is making a good faith attempt to redeem the vehicle under sub. (1), the department may grant an extension of up to 30 additional days before selling the vehicle.
      (c)    The department, upon request, may permit the person who, according to the department’s records, holds a security interest in the vehicle to accept and maintain custody of the vehicle after impoundment or to sell the vehicle in a commercially reasonable manner at a public or private sale. The proceeds of the sale under this paragraph shall be transmitted to the department for distribution under par. (e).
      (d)    If the vehicle is sold, any person who is the holder of a security interest which is perfected under s. 342.19 shall be notified of the sale and any person who holds a security interest, mortgage or other interest in the vehicle and who acquired the security interest, the mortgage or other interest in good faith may file a claim within 30 days after the sale with the department.
         1.    The money from the sale of a vehicle shall be used first for payment of all proper expenses of impounding, preparing for the sale and selling the vehicle, including expenses for seizure, maintenance of custody and advertising. Any remaining money may be paid to a claimant under par. (d) in the priority provided under s. 342.19.
         2.    All other proceeds of the sale remaining after the payments under subd. 1. shall be retained by the secretary of transportation and applied as security for payment of judgments and assignments as provided under s. 344.20 (2). Any amounts not used to pay judgments or assignments shall be transmitted to the secretary of administration for deposit in the school fund.
   (3)   Notwithstanding subch. VI of ch. 409 and ch. 425:
      (a)    A creditor with a security interest in a vehicle which is ordered sold under this section may accelerate the maturity of the secured indebtedness, is not required to give notice of default and right to cure, may accept custody of the vehicle and may conduct the sale of the vehicle as provided under sub. (2) (c) without sending notification of the sale to the debtor and may receive proceeds from the sale as provided under sub. (2) (e).
      (b)    The owner of a vehicle which is ordered sold under this section is deemed in default under the instrument securing the indebtedness but has no right to cure the default or redeem the vehicle once the sale has been ordered, may not receive any proceeds from the sale and remains liable to a secured party for any deficiency which remains unsatisfied after the distribution under sub. (2) (e).
   (4)   When a vehicle is sold by or at the direction of the department under this section, the sale transfers to the purchaser for value all of the owner’s rights therein, and discharges all security interests in the vehicle. The purchaser takes free of all such rights and interests even though the sale is not conducted in a commercially reasonable manner or the department fails to give the notifications required under s. 344.14 (4) (a):
      (a)    In the case of the public sale, if the purchaser has no knowledge of such defects in the sale and does not buy in collusion with the department, other bidders or the person conducting the sale; or
      (b)    In any other case, if the purchaser acts in good faith.