Consumer Protection Fact Sheet - Elderly and Disabled Law

Wisconsin law (Wis. Stat. s. 100.264) provides additional punishment for those who take advantage of the elderly or disabled.

This law addresses the fact that the elderly and disabled are more likely to suffer losses than other persons due to their age, poor health, impaired understanding or restricted mobility. As a deterrent, this law sends a clear message to anyone thinking of committing such an act in Wisconsin that we do not tolerate preying on the most vulnerable people in our society.

The law allows courts to impose additional forfeitures of up to $10,000 for violations of specific consumer protection laws, such as:

  • False advertising

  • Motor vehicle repair

  • Landlord-tenant

  • Home improvement

  • Electronic communications services

  • Chain distributor schemes

  • Manufactured home communities

  • Deceptive offers of employment

  • Dating services

  • Fitness centers

  • Mail order

  • Improper billing

  • Requiring purchases for receiving prizes

  • Telemarketing

  • Timeshares

  • Future Service Plans

The law may be applied in a number of situations including those in which the guilty person knew that the victim was elderly (age 62 and older) or disabled.

The law also applies if the guilty person’s conduct caused an elderly or disabled person to suffer physical or emotional damage or loss of:

  • A primary residence

  • Principal employment or source of employment

  • More than 25% of the property set aside for retirement or for personal or family care

  • More than 25% of pension or retirement payments

  • Essential assets to health or welfare

The additional forfeiture can only be applied in cases in which the defendant is ordered to pay restitution.