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421.301 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also s. DFI-WCA 1.09, Wis. adm. code.
421.301(39) (39)“Sale of services" means furnishing or agreeing to furnish services and includes arranging to have services furnished by another.
421.301(40) (40)“Security interest" means a real property mortgage, deed of trust, seller's interest in real estate under a land contract, any interest in property which secures payment or performance of an obligation under ch. 409 or any other consensual or confessed lien whether or not recorded.
421.301(41) (41)“Seller credit card" means an arrangement pursuant to an open-end credit plan in which a person gives to a customer the privilege of using a credit card, or other credit confirmation or identification primarily for the purpose of purchasing or leasing goods or services from that person, a person related to that person or others licensed or franchised to do business under that person's business or trade name or designation.
421.301(42) (42)
421.301(42)(a)(a) “Services" includes:
421.301(42)(a)1. 1. Work, labor and other personal services;
421.301(42)(a)2. 2. Privileges with respect to transportation, hotel and restaurant accommodations, education, entertainment, recreation, physical culture, hospital accommodations, funerals, cemetery accommodations, and the like; and
421.301(42)(a)3. 3. Insurance provided in connection with a consumer credit transaction.
421.301(42)(b) (b) “Services" does not include any services of common carriers if the tariffs, rates, charges, costs or expenses of such common carriers are required by law to be filed with or approved by the federal government or any official, department, division, commission or agency of the United States.
421.301(43) (43)“Supervised financial organization" means a person:
421.301(43)(a) (a) Organized, chartered or holding an authorization certificate under the laws of this state or of the United States which authorize the person to make loans and to receive deposits, including a savings, share, certificate or deposit account; and
421.301(43)(b) (b) Subject to supervision by an official or agency of this state or of the United States.
421.301(43m) (43m)“Total lease obligation" means the sum of all of the following with respect to a motor vehicle consumer lease:
421.301(43m)(a) (a) All scheduled periodic payments under the lease.
421.301(43m)(b) (b) Capitalized cost reduction, as defined in s. 429.104 (6).
421.301(44) (44)“Transaction" means an agreement between 2 or more persons, whether or not the agreement is a contract enforceable by action, and includes the making of and the performance pursuant to that agreement.
421.301 Annotation A “rent-to-own" transaction was a consumer credit sale even though the customer was not contractually obligated to make installment payments. Palacios v. ABC TV & Stereo Rental, 123 Wis. 2d 79, 365 N.W.2d 882 (Ct. App. 1985).
421.301 Annotation An option to purchase at the conclusion of a lease for appliances at a price equal to 11 percent of the total lease payments was a consumer credit sale under sub. (9). Rent-a-Center, Inc. v. Hall, 181 Wis. 2d 244, 510 N.W.2d 789 (Ct. App. 1993).
421.301 Annotation If a lessor of personal property is bound for a period exceeding 4 months, a consumer lease under sub. (11) exists even though the lessee may exercise an option to purchase the leased goods less than 4 months after the beginning of the lease period. LeBakken Rent-to-Own v. Warnell, 223 Wis. 2d 582, 589 N.W.2d 425 (Ct. App. 1998), 98-1569.
421.301 Annotation To determine if an option price is nominal under sub. (9), a court may consider: 1) the relation of the option price to the item's fair market value, 2) the relation of the option price to the total rental price, 3) the relationship between the option price and the original price of the goods, or 4) whether the lessee has “any sensible alternative" to exercising the option. LeBakken Rent-to-Own v. Warnell, 223 Wis. 2d 582, 589 N.W.2d 425 (Ct. App. 1998), 98-1569.
421.301 Annotation An agreement necessary to establish that there is an obligation “payable in installments" under sub. (30), which is required for there to be a “consumer credit transaction" under sub. (10), must be made before services are rendered. Permitting a debtor to pay over time only after attempts to collect in full have failed does not render the transaction a consumer credit transaction. Dean Medical Center, S.C. v. Conners, 2000 WI App 202, 238 Wis. 2d 636, 618 N.W.2d 194, 99-2091.
421.301 Annotation A person who, along with her fiance, signed a credit application but did not sign the subsequent retail installment agreement was a customer under sub. (17). Sub. (17) addresses personal, family, or household purposes. When a woman is engaged to the father of her child and they are purchasing a car together, they apparently are doing so for anticipated personal, family, and household purposes. Zehetner v. Chrysler Financial Company, LLC, 2004 WI App 80, 272 Wis. 2d 628, 679 N.W.2d 919, 03-1473.
421.301 Annotation A company that purchased an overdue credit card account and brought an action to collect the amount due on it was not a creditor within the meaning of sub. (16). Rsidue, LLC v. Michaud, 2006 WI App 164, 295 Wis. 2d 585, 721 N.W.2d 718, 05-1299.
421.301 Annotation To state a claim under either the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or the Wisconsin Consumer Act, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the debt in question arises out of a transaction incurred for personal, family, or household purposes. When a plaintiff maintains that the underlying debt was not his or hers, the plaintiff can nonetheless claim protection by showing that the debt collector treated the plaintiff as a consumer allegedly owing a consumer debt. However, a plaintiff proceeding under this theory still must offer evidence to establish that the debt was a consumer debt: in other words, that the debt was incurred for personal, family, or household purposes. Burton v. Kohn Law Firm, S.C., 934 F.3d 572 (2019).
421.301 Annotation The applicability of the consumer act to rent-to-own contracts is discussed. Burny v. Thorn, 944 F. Supp. 762 (1996).
421.301 Annotation The Wisconsin Consumer Act: When is a Transaction a Consumer Credit Transaction? Anzivino. 96 MLR (No. 1 2012)
421.401 421.401 Venue.
421.401(1)(1)The venue for a claim arising out of a consumer transaction or a consumer credit transaction is the county:
421.401(1)(a) (a) Where the customer resides or is personally served;
421.401(1)(b) (b) Where collateral securing a consumer credit transaction is located; or
421.401(1)(c) (c) Where the customer sought or acquired the property, services, money or credit which is the subject of the transaction or signed the document evidencing his or her obligation under the terms of the transaction.
421.401(2) (2)When it appears from the return of service of the summons or otherwise that the county in which the action is pending under sub. (1) is not a proper place of trial for such action, unless the defendant appears and waives the improper venue, the court shall act as follows:
421.401(2)(a) (a) Except as provided in par. (b), if it appears that another county would be a proper place of trial, the court shall transfer the action to that county.
421.401(2)(b) (b) If the action arises out of a consumer credit transaction, the court shall dismiss the action for lack of jurisdiction.
421.401(3) (3)If there are several defendants, and if venue is based on residence, venue may be in the county of residence of any of them.
421.401 History History: 1983 a. 228; 1987 a. 208.
421.401 Annotation An improperly venued action arising from a consumer credit transaction “shall be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction" under sub. (2) (b). When the court fails to dismiss, the action is invalid. Kett v. Community Credit Plan, Inc. 228 Wis. 2d 1, 596 N.W.2d 786 (1999), 97-3620.
421.401 Annotation Although voluntarily dismissed, prosecution of improperly venued actions violated the consumer act, and the defendants were prevailing parties under s. 425.308 entitled to attorney fees. Community Credit Plan, Inc. v. Johnson, 228 Wis. 2d 30, 596 N.W.2d 799 (1999), 97-0574.
421.401 Annotation Sections 801.50 and 801.51, the general venue statutes, do not apply to actions arising from consumer credit transactions. Rather, the venue provision in s. 421.401 applies. Brunton v. Nuvell Credit Corporation, 2010 WI 50, 325 Wis. 2d 135, 785 N.W.2d 302, 07-1253.
421.401 Annotation Sub. (2) (b) states that an improperly venued consumer credit action must be dismissed unless the defendant appears and waives the improper venue. Appearance in the action and pleading in the action are distinct requirements. Waiver under sub. (2) requires the intentional relinquishment of a known right. To establish a valid waiver, it must be proved that the defendant knew the place of proper venue and knew of the right to dismissal of the case when it was not properly venued. A plaintiff must prove that the rights to proper venue and dismissal of an improperly venued action were intentionally relinquished. Continued litigation of an action does not unambiguously demonstrate an intention to relinquish the right to proper venue. Brunton v. Nuvell Credit Corporation, 2010 WI 50, 325 Wis. 2d 135, 785 N.W.2d 302, 07-1253.
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