Tests For Voidable Transactions And Fraudulent Transfers

Adkisson's VOIDABLE TRANSACTIONS —— previously known as —— Fraudulent Transfers & Fraudulent Conveyances »» Caution Jurisdictional Variances! «« DID A VOIDABLE TRANSACTION OCCUR?

 

Assuming that a UVTA action is still timely, the next step is to determine whether a fraudulent transfer has occurred. As set forth below, there are five tests (§§ 4(a)(1), (2)(i), (2)(ii), 5(a) and (b)) to determine if a fraudulent transfer has occurred. But the vast majority of cases will be decided by one of two tests:

 

  • Insolvency Test: Was the Debtor insolvent (or rendered insolvent) at the time of the transfer, and did the Debtor receive "reasonably equivalent value" in exchange (§5(a), also known by the oxymoron "Constructive Fraudulent Transfer"); and

 

  • Intent Test: Whether the Debtor intended to diminish the enforcement rights of creditors (§ 4(a)(1), also known by the poorly descriptive term  "Actual Fraudulent Transfer").

 

The slang terms for these tests, Actual Fraudulent Transfer and Constructive Fraudulent Transfer, are anachronisms that are not at all descriptive of the analysis that is utilized by the UVTA. In fact the use of these terms is counterproductive and confusing, and the better practice is to simply drop their usage altogether.

 

The Insolvency Test of §5(a) by its nature is often resolved on summary judgment, and (rather uniquely as a matter of litigation practice) frequently in favor of creditors. By contrast, the Intent Test of §4(a)(1) is almost invariably disputed (what debtor would admit to cheating creditors unless he wanted the transaction unwound?), leading to significant factual questions of intent, and thus normally precluding the granting of summary judgment.

 

Thus, the Insolvency Test is the "more certain" test between the two, and promises creditors the prospect of an early judgment that avoids the costs of prolonged litigation and trial. Creditors, therefore, quite naturally will assert and vigorously prosecute the Insolvency Test when they believe the facts are in their favor, and for this reason between the two tests of §§ 4(a)(1) and 5(a), it is the Insolvency Test that will ordinarily be measured first.

 

One might observe that there are really three forms of insolvency tests found in the UVTA, since the Overextending Insolvency Test of § 4(a)(i) and the Sinking Insolvency Test of § 4(a)(ii) effectively amount to "near insolvency" tests.

 

The Insider Preference Test of § 5(b) is not really a fraudulent transfer test in the classic sense, but a preference test somewhat similar to that found in U.S. bankruptcy law. Recognizing this, some states, most notably California which has its own preferential transfer scheme, did not enact § 5(b) into their version of the UVTA.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: For creditors the Intent Test is the least desirable test, to be used only as a fall-back alternative if none of the other tests can be satisfied. Creditors' counsel who are unfamiliar with this body of law will -- due to their inexperience in this area -- almost inevitably start with the Intent Test first, and start floundering around with the Badges of Fraud, which is more often than not the worst way to go about it.

 

Prefatory Note (UFTA 1984).

  • The basic structure and approach of the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance Act are preserved in the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act.
  • There are two sections in the new Act delineating what transfers and obligations are fraudulent. Section 4(a) is an adaptation of three sections of the U.F.C.A.; § 5(a) is an adaptation of another section of the U.F.C.A.; and § 5(b) is new.
  • One section of the U.F.C.A. (§ 8) is not carried forward into the new Act because deemed to be redundant in part and in part susceptible of inequitable application.
  • Both Acts declare a transfer made or an obligation incurred with actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud creditors to be fraudulent.
  • Provisions of the new Act, carried forward with little change from the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance Act, render a transfer made or obligation incurred without adequate consideration to be constructively fraudulent—i.e., without regard to the actual intent of the debtor—under one of the following conditions:

(1) the debtor was left by the transfer or obligation with unreasonably small assets for a transaction or business in which the debtor was engaged or was about to engage;

(2) the debtor intended to incur, or believed or reasonably should have believed that the debtor would incur, more debts than the debtor would be able to pay as they become due; or

(3) the debtor was insolvent at the time or as a result of the transfer or obligation.

 

Avoidable Transaction Tests:

(Use these four tests first if you can, since a creditor can often win these on summary judgment)

(Use the Intent Test last, as summary judgment is difficult to obtain)

 

 

See Article: J. Adkisson, Understanding The Elements Of The UVTA Tests For A Voidable Transaction, Forbes.com, 30 May 2019

 

RECENT ARTICLES

 

2020.06.30 ... Attorney Fees Held Awardable Under Nevada Fraudulent Transfer Law In Morgan Stanley Opinion

2020.06.11 ... Bank That Was Financially Involved With Debtor Gets Caught Up In Fraudulent Transfer Case In Wilson

2020.05.21 ... Utah Supreme Court Rejects Mixed Motive Test For Intentional Fraudulent Transfers In Jones Case

2020.01.06 ... Twyne’s Case And The Most Infamous Flock Of Sheep In Anglo-American Law

2019.12.07 ... New York Finally Modernizes Its Fraudulent Transfer Laws By Adopting The Uniform Voidable Transactions Act

2019.10.29 ... Repeal Of Kentucky’s Fraudulent Transfer Law In Favor Of UVTA Causes Headaches In Orchard

2019.10.19 ... Texas Homestead Gets Constitutional Protection From Fraudulent Transfer Claim In Lapides

 

 

Many more articles on voidable transactions law found here

 

UVTA - LOGICAL ORGANIZATION

(Designed For Litigators)

 

Click here to go to the Voidable Transactions Decision Chart

 

Overview of UVTA -- The process and result

 

Learn The Vocabulary Of The Act (Main Page)

 

Has A Voidable Transaction Occurred? (Main Page)

 

Does The Transferee Have A Defense? (Main Page)

 

What Remedies Are Available? (Main Page)

 

Other Helpful Provisions (Main Page)

 

UVTA - NUMERICAL ORGANIZATION

(Confusing & Difficult To Use)

 

The Uniform Law Commission's complete copy of the UVTA with comments in PDF format is available here. The webpage for the UVTA, showing states that have enacted and much other information regarding the Act is found here.

 

1 - Definitions

(1) Affiliate -- (2) Asset -- (3) Claim -- (4) Creditor -- (5) Debt -- (6) Debtor -- (7) Electronic -- (8) Insider -- (9) Lien -- (10) Organization -- (11) Person -- (12) Property -- (13) Record -- (14) Relative -- (15) Sign -- (16) Transfer -- (17) Valid Lien

2 - Insolvency - How insolvency is calculated

3 - Value - Issues relating to calculating value

4 - Transfer Or Obligation Voidable As To Present Or Future Creditor

(a)(1) {Intent Test} - To hinder, delay or defraud any creditor

(a)(2)(i) {Overextending Insolvency Test} - The debtor engages in a transaction for which it does not have the financial strength

(a)(2)(ii) {Sinking Insolvency Test} - The debtor is not technically insolvent but headed for insolvency

(b) {Badges of Fraud} - Circumstances available to prove the debtor's intent

5 - Transfer or Obligation Voidable As To Present Creditor

(a) {Insolvency Test} - The test preferred by creditors

(b) {Insider Preference Test} - Not really a fraudulent transfer test at all

6 - When Transfer Is Made Or Obligation Is Incurred - Determines the time of the transfer

7 - Remedies Of Creditor

      {Non-Money Judgment Remedies} - Avoidance, attachment, etc.

8 - Defenses, Liability, And Protection Of Transferee Or Obligee

{Main Provisions} -The transferee's good faith for-value defense

(b) and (c) {Money Judgment Remedy} - Alternative remedy for creditors when avoidance is not good enough

9 - Extinguishment Of Claim For Relief - Similar to Statutes of Limitation

10 - Governing Law - Conflicts of Laws provisions

11 - Application To Series Organization - Applies to intra-series transfers

12 - Supplementary Provisions - Allows application of other law to issues unresolved by the UVTA

13 - Uniformity Of Application And Construction - Court opinions from other states may be looked to for guidance

14 - Relation To Electronic Signatures In Global And National Commerce - Waste of statutory space

15 - Short Title - From fraudulent transfers to voidable transactions

16 - Repeals; Conforming Amendment - Information for enacting legislatures

 

OTHER SOURCES OF

FRAUDULENT TRANSFER LAW

 

Fraudulent Transfers In Bankruptcy - Main Page

 

28 U.S.C. § 3301, et seq. - Where United States is the creditor

 

Common Law Fraudulent Transfer - Still exists in most states

 

Fraudulent Conveyances Act of 1571 a/k/a Statute of 13 Elizabeth - The medieval statute to which the modern American UVTA traces some of its roots.

 

Statutes Of The U.S. Jurisdictions -- State and Territorial Voidable Transaction and Fraudulent Transfer Laws

 

TOPICAL COURT OPINIONS

 

DEFINITIONS

     Creditor Definition - Court opinions on the definition of creditor

     Debtor Insider Affiliate Relative Organization Person Definitions   - Court opinions on the definitions of debtor, insider, etc.

     Claim And Debt Definitions  - Court opinions on the definitions of claim and debt

     Asset And Property Definitions  - Court opinions on the definitions of assets and property

     Lien And Valid Lien Definitions  - Court opinions on the definitions of lien and valid lien

     Transfer Definition  - Court opinions on the definition of transfer

     Value And Reasonably Equivalent Value (REV) Definition  - Court opinions on the definitions of value and reasonably equivalent value

     Insolvency Definition  - Court opinions on the definition of insolvency

TESTS

     Insolvency Test  - Court opinions relating to the Insolvency Test

     Insider Preference Test  - Court opinions relating to the Insider Preference Test

     Overextending Insolvency Test  - Court opinions relating to the Overextending Insolvency Test

     Sinking Insolvency Test  - Court opinions relating to the Sinking Insolvency Test

     Intent Test  - Court opinions relating to the Intent Test

           Badges Of Fraud  - Court opinions relating to the Badges of Fraud

DEFENSES

     Extinguishment Periods a/k/a (incorrectly) Statute Of Limitations  - Court opinions relating to the extinguishment periods

     Transferee Good Faith  - Court opinions relating to the transferee good faith for-value defense

REMEDIES

     Non-Money Remedies  - Court opinions relating to avoidance and other non-money remedies

     Money Judgment Remedies  - Court opinions relating to money judgments

     Attorney Fees -- Court opinions relating to awards of attorney fees

OTHER

     Burdens of Proof  - Court opinions relating to the burdens of proof

     Conflict Of Laws  - Court opinions relating to conflict of laws

     Uniformity  - Court opinions relating to uniformity with the laws of other jurisdictions

     Supplementary Law  - Court opinions relating to the interplay of the UVTA with other law

     Jurisdictional Issues - Court opinions relating to jurisdiction of UVTA actions.

BANKRUPTCY

     Section 548  - Court opinions relating to 11 USC 548

 

OTHER RESOURCES

 

 

OTHER INFORMATIONAL WEBSITES

by Jay Adkisson

 

  • Jay Adkisson - More about Jay D. Adkisson, background, books, articles, speaking appearances.

 

  • Captive Insurance - Licensed insurance companies formed by the parent organization to handle the insurance and risk management needs of the business, by the author of the best-selling book on the topic: Adkisson's Captive Insurance Companies.

 

  • Asset Protection - The all-time best-selling book on asset protection planning by Jay Adkisson and Chris Riser.

 

  • Creditor-Debtor - An explanation of common creditor remedies, strategies and tactics to enforce a judgment, including a discussion of common debtor asset protection strategies.

 

  • Private Retirement Plans - An exploration of a unique creditor exemption allowed under California law which can be very beneficial but is often misused.

 

  • Charging Orders - The confusing remedy against a debtor's interest in an LLC or partnership is explained in reference to the Uniform Partnership Act, the Uniform Limited Partnership Act, and the Uniform Limited Liability Company Act.

 

  • Protected Series - An examination of the single most complex statutory legal structure yet created, with particular reference to the Uniform Protected Series Act of 2017.

 

  • California Enforcement of Judgments Law - Considers the topic of judgment enforcement in California, including the California Enforcement of Judgments Law and other laws related to California creditor-debtor issues.

 

  • Anti-SLAPP Laws - A collection of and commentary about Anti-SLAPP laws and significant court decisions on the subject within the United States, and special section on California Anti-SLAPP.

 

 

Voidable Transactions:

Fraudulent Transfers In American Law

 

by Jay D. Adkisson (Available 2021)

 

Click here for more information

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© 2020 Jay D. Adkisson. All rights reserved. No claim to government works or the works of the Uniform Law Commission. The information contained in this website is for general educational purposes only, does not constitute any legal advice or opinion, and should not be relied upon in relation to particular cases. Use this information at your own peril; it is no substitute for the legal advice or opinion of an attorney licensed to practice law in the appropriate jurisdiction. This site https://voidabletransactions.com Contact: jay [at] jayad.com or by phone to 702-953-9617 or by fax to 877-698-0678.