What is a "Transfer"?
§ 1(16) “Transfer” means every mode, direct or indirect, absolute or conditional, voluntary or involuntary, of disposing of or parting with an asset or an interest in an asset, and includes payment of money, release, lease, license, and creation of a lien or other encumbrance.
Reporter's Comment: 16. The definition of “transfer” is derived principally from Bankruptcy Code § 101(48) (1984). The definition of “conveyance” in § 1 of the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance Act was similarly comprehensive, and the references in this Act to “payment of money, release, lease, and the creation of a lien or encumbrance” are derived from the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance Act. While the definition in the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance Act did not explicitly refer to an involuntary transfer, the decisions under that Act were generally consistent with an interpretation that covered such a transfer. See, e.g., Hearn 45 St. Corp. v. Jano, 283 N.Y. 139, 27 N.E.2d 814, 128 A.L.R. 1285 (1940) (execution and foreclosure sales); Lefkowitz v. Finkelstein Trading Corp., 14 F.Supp. 898, 899 (S.D.N.Y. 1936) (execution sale); Langan v. First Trust & Deposit Co., 277 App.Div. 1090, 101 N.Y.S.2d 36 (4th Dept. 1950), aff’d, 302 N.Y. 932, 100 N.E.2d 189 (1951) (mortgage foreclosure); Catabene v. Wallner, 16 N.J.Super. 597, 602, 85 A.2d 300, 302 (1951) (mortgage foreclosure). The 2014 amendments add a reference to transfer by “license,” which is derived from the definition of “proceeds” in Uniform Commercial Code § 9-102(a)(64)(A) (2014).
JayNote: The definition of "transfer" is very expansive, and can encompass virtually every way that a debtor can get property to a transferee.
When is a Transfer Made or an Obligation Incurred?
UVTA § 6.
Prefatory Note (UFTA 1984): The new Act includes a new section specifying when a transfer is made or an obligation is incurred. The section specifying the time when a transfer occurs is adapted from § 548(d) of the Bankruptcy Code. Its premise is that if the law prescribes a mode for making the transfer a matter of public record or notice, it is not deemed to be made for any purpose under the new Act until it has become such a matter of record or notice.
Reporter's Comment: 1. One of the uncertainties in the law governing the avoidance of transfers and obligations of the nature governed by this Act is the time at which the cause of action arises. Section 6 clarifies that point in time.
JayNote: The term "transfer" plays a critical role in the Act. The "transfer" is said to have been made when the transferee receives defensible title from the debtor.
For the purposes of this [Act]:
(1) a transfer is made:
(i) with respect to an asset that is real property other than a fixture, but including the interest of a seller or purchaser under a contract for the sale of the asset, when the transfer is so far perfected that a good-faith purchaser of the asset from the debtor against which applicable law permits the transfer to be perfected cannot acquire an interest in the asset that is superior to the interest of the transferee; and
(ii) with respect to an asset that is not real property or that is a fixture, when the transfer is so far perfected that a creditor on a simple contract cannot acquire a judicial lien otherwise than under this [Act] that is superior to the interest of the transferee;
Reporter's Comment: For transfers of real property other than a fixture, paragraph (1)(i) fixes the time as the date of perfection against a good-faith purchaser from the transferor. For transfers of fixtures and assets constituting personalty, paragraph (1)(ii) fixes the time as the date of perfection against a judicial lien creditor not asserting rights under this Act. Perfection under paragraph (1) typically is effected by notice-filing, recordation, or delivery of unequivocal possession. See U.C.C. §§ 9-310, 9 313 (2014) (security interest in personal property generally is perfected by notice-filing or delivery of possession to transferee); 4 American Law of Property §§ 17.10-17.12 (1952) (recordation of transfer or delivery of possession to grantee required for perfection against bona fide purchaser from grantor). The provision for postponing the time a transfer is made until its perfection is an adaptation of Bankruptcy Code § 548(d)(1) (1984).
(2) if applicable law permits the transfer to be perfected as provided in paragraph (1) and the transfer is not so perfected before the commencement of an action for relief under this [Act], the transfer is deemed made immediately before the commencement of the action;
Reporter's Comment: When no steps are taken to perfect a transfer that applicable law permits to be perfected, the transfer is deemed by paragraph (2) to be perfected immediately before the filing of an action to avoid it; without such a provision to cover that eventuality, an unperfected transfer arguably would be immune to attack. Some transfers may not be amenable to perfection as against a bona fide purchaser or judicial lien creditor.
JayNote: If the transfer could have been perfected by the transferee, but for whatever reason was not, then it is deemed to have been perfected in the split-second prior to the filing of the voidable transaction action. This has two important ramifications: (1) even if the transfer was not perfected, it is deemed perfected if the transferee could have perfected it, and thus a transfer as been said to have occurred for purposes of bringing the action; (2) the applicable Statute of Limitations runs from the date of the transfer -- and if the transferee could have perfected title, but never does, this has the practical effect of tolling the Statute of Limitations until the split-second before the voidable transaction action is filed. This rule prevents the transferee from playing games by attempting to avoid the fraudulent transfer claim by not perfecting title.
(3) if applicable law does not permit the transfer to be perfected as provided in paragraph (1), the transfer is made when it becomes effective between the debtor and the transferee;
Reporter's Comment: In the event that a transfer may not be perfected as provided in paragraph (1), paragraph (3) provides that the transfer occurs for the purpose of this Act when the transferor effectively parts with an interest in the asset.
(4) a transfer is not made until the debtor has acquired rights in the asset transferred; and
Reporter's Comment: 2. Paragraph (4) requires the transferor to have rights in the asset transferred before the transfer is made for the purpose of this section. This provision makes clear that the purpose of this section may not be circumvented by notice-filing or recordation of a document evidencing an interest in an asset to be acquired in the future. Cf. Bankruptcy Code § 547(e) (1984); U.C.C. § 9-203(b)(2) (2014).
(5) an obligation is incurred:
(i) if oral, when it becomes effective between the parties; or
Reporter's Comment: 3. Paragraph (5) had no analogue in the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance Act. It is intended to resolve uncertainty arising from Rubin v. Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., 661 F.2d 979, 989-91, 997 (2d Cir. 1981), insofar as that case holds that an obligation of guaranty may be deemed to be incurred when advances covered by the guaranty are made rather than when the guaranty first became effective between the parties. Compare Rosenberg, Intercorporate Guaranties and the Law of Fraudulent Conveyances: Lender Beware, 125 U.Pa.L.Rev. 235, 256-57 (1976).
An obligation may be avoided under this Act if it is incurred under the circumstances specified in § 4(a) or § 5(a). The debtor may receive reasonably equivalent value in exchange for an obligation incurred even though the benefit to the debtor is indirect. See Rubin v. Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., 661 F.2d at 991-92; Williams v. Twin City Co., 251 F.2d 678, 681 (9th Cir. 1958); Rosenberg, supra, at 243-46.
Under paragraph (5), an oral obligation is incurred when it becomes effective between the parties, and later confirmation of the oral obligation by a record does not reset the time of incurrence to that later time.
U.S. Bankruptcy Code § 548(d)(1)
For the purposes of this section, a transfer is made when such transfer is so perfected that a bona fide purchaser from the debtor against whom applicable law permits such transfer to be perfected cannot acquire an interest in the property transferred that is superior to the interest in such property of the transferee, but if such transfer is not so perfected before the commencement of the case, such transfer is made immediately before the date of the filing of the petition.
UVTA - Logical Organization (Designed For Litigators)
Overview of UVTA -- The process and result
Learn The Vocabulary Of The Act
Learn The Vocabulary Of The Act (Main Page)
Step 1: Has A Voidable Transaction Occurred?
Step 2: Does the Transferee Have A Defense?
Step 3: What Remedies Are Available?
Other Helpful Provisions
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
3 - Value
4 - Transfer Or Obligation Voidable As To Present Or Future Creditor
5 - Transfer or Obligation Voidable As To Present Creditor
8 - Defenses, Liability, And Protection Of Transferee Or Obligee
10 - Governing Law
15 - Short Title
Fraudulent Transfers In Bankruptcy
Voidable Transaction Decision Chart
A chart to assist in the determination of whether a fraudulent transfer has occurred, whether the transferee has a defense, and if a useful remedy is available. Click here
A collection of useful articles and other resources on the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act and fraudulent transfer law generally, click here
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Collecting On A Judgment
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© 2017 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 http://www.voidabletransactions.com Contact: jay [at] jayadkisson.com or by phone to 949-200-7773 or by fax to 877-698-0678.