Creditors in New Jersey should not be dissuaded from trying to collect what is owed to them because debtors transfer their assets. New Jersey law protects creditors’ rights by imposing penalties for debtors who transfer assets to prevent collection of a valid debt.
The Fraudulent Conveyance Act of 1919 has protected creditors’ rights in New Jersey for nearly a century. However, in 1988 the New Jersey Legislature updated New Jersey’s fraudulent transfer laws by passing the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (“UFTA”), which replaced the former Fraudulent Conveyance Act.
The purpose of UFTA is to protect creditors from debtors who hide assets. Debtors are therefore prohibited from transferring assets to avoid paying debts, once creditors have a “right to payment.”
Under New Jersey’s UFTA, there are two ways creditors can establish that a fraudulent transaction has occurred. Creditors can prove that a transaction was done with actual intent to defraud the creditor. However, the burden of proof is on the creditor and it is often very difficult to meet. Therefore, the UFTA also allows creditors to prove “constructive fraud.” To prove this, creditors must show that a transfer was made without exchange of reasonably equivalent value, rendering a debtor insolvent.