Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/07/1994 01:15 PM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 439 - UNIFORM FRAUDULENT TRANSFER ACT Number 226 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if MARY ELLEN BEARDSLEY and JERRY KURTZ were on line via teleconference. Ms. Beardsley confirmed that she was present on line. Chairman Porter said, "Well, we have Mary Ellen at least. I would like to now, if we could, quickly, take up the Fraudulent Transfers Act, HB 439. We have, at least first, Mary Ellen Beardsley from the Department of Law to tell us about the act and maybe we have Jerry Kurtz and maybe we don't. Mary Ellen, welcome and please tell us about the bill." Number 230 MARY ELLEN BEARDSLEY, Department of Law, spoke via teleconference from Anchorage. She said, "I would like to defer to Mr. Kurtz, who is here. Let him do his presentation first, and then I will speak after him." Number 231 JERRY KURTZ, Uniform Law Commission, testified via teleconference from Anchorage. [Testimony is difficult to hear due to chronic foreground noise.] He said, "Because I don't know many of the people on the committee, I will very briefly give you some [indisc.] background and try and keep my remarks [indisc.] fairly limited. I hope that when I do so you will ask any questions that you have [indisc.].... "I am also [indisc.]. I have practiced law in Alaska for about 30 years, or more, and in the last 25 years I have primarily worked in commercial and business problems. I am here representing the Uniform Law Commission of the United States, and I am a representative on that commission appointed by the Governor of Alaska, and have been since 1989. Prior to that time I was with the Alaska [indisc.] Commission for about eight years, and in both of these positions I have worked primarily with efforts to improve laws rather than to push them in favor of one direction of another. "I am strongly in favor of HB 439 because I think it would be a substantial improvement in Alaska law. At this point it's worth briefly explaining what we're talking about. Fraudulent conveyances are not necessarily criminally fraudulent conveyances. In fact, it is a term of ours that usually does not involve criminal actions. But the fraudulent conveyance is a transfer of money, a substantial proportion of [indisc.] property, or an item of [indisc.] property, that is deliberately made to deprive [indisc.] creditors of the property. Or it's made under circumstances where most people would think it was only fair to let creditors have the property. "Typical fraudulent conveyance occurs when someone has borrowed a great deal of money or promised to do something under a contract, and realizes that they aren't going to make it [indisc.]. People who relied upon that person's [indisc. -financial?] statement or their [indisc.] as property owners, when they entered the agreement, or loaned the money, suddenly find that there is no property there. Now, Alaska's law in this area is very, very old, indeed. It goes back to the Statute of Elizabeth, which was a statute in England and..." CHAIRMAN PORTER interjected, "Jay, we're about 15 minutes past the end of the committee time, and I've got a couple of people who can stay for about five minutes, but otherwise, they've got to scoot. Could we get the executive summary?" MR. KURTZ said, "The executive summary is that it is strongly in the interest of this state, [indisc.] most of us, to try to promote a fair commercial climate, a business climate and a more constructive legal climate. This bill will help do that. It's substantially the law now of every state west of the Mississippi except Louisiana, Iowa, Kansas, Wyoming and Alaska. In other words, we're not only not in coordination with those states, we are grossly behind them. 26 states adopted the old Uniform Act which went into effect in 1918. 32 states [indisc.] have adopted this new version, which was first [indisc.] in 1984. Alaska is still operating under the law of Elizabeth. It will, I think, help everybody except the deadbeat who is really trying to hide stuff, to not only know what the law is, but to enforce agreements that are [indisc.] agreements." CHAIRMAN PORTER stated, "Jerry, thank you very much. What is the wish of the committee?" Number 322 REP. PHILLIPS commented, "Mr. Chairman, anything that moves us out of the Elizabethan age... I'd move that we move the bill out of committee with individual recommendations." CHAIRMAN PORTER said, "We have a motion to move. Is there discussion?" REP. JAMES stated, "Let's move this bill out of here, it's a good bill." CHAIRMAN PORTER asked, "Is there objection?" There being no objection, HB 439 was moved out of committee.