Lending institutions and representatives may involuntarily acquire contaminated properties through normal business practices. This can occur when the lender or representative comes into possession of a contaminated property in an unexpected manner, such as foreclosure. Fortunately, Wisconsin state law includes a provision known as the lender liability exemption, which provides conditional environmental liability protections to lenders and representatives.
Lenders and representatives that meet the conditions established in s. 292.21, Wis. Stats., are not responsible for the remediation of a hazardous substance discharge per s. 292.11, Wis. Stats., commonly known as the "Spill Law."
Lenders may qualify for state liability protection at contaminated properties when:
conducting normal lending;
acquiring property through foreclosure;
enforcing a security interest in personal property and fixtures; and
acting as a representative.