Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 500. Insurance Code of 1956 § 500.8128
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Sec. 8128. (1) A preference is a transfer of any of the property of an insurer to or for the benefit of a creditor, for or on account of an antecedent debt, made or suffered by the insurer within 1 year before the filing of a successful petition for liquidation under this chapter, the effect of which transfer may be to enable the creditor to obtain a greater percentage of this debt than another creditor of the same class would receive. If a liquidation order is entered while the insurer is already subject to a rehabilitation order, then a transfer shall be considered a preference if made or suffered within 1 year before the filing of the successful petition for rehabilitation, or within 2 years before the filing of the successful petition for liquidation, whichever time is shorter.
(2) A preference may be avoided by the liquidator if any of the following occurs:
(a) The insurer was insolvent at the time of the transfer.
(b) The transfer was made within 4 months before the filing of the petition.
(c) The creditor receiving the transfer or benefited by the transfer or his or her agent acting with reference to the transfer had, at the time the transfer was made, reasonable cause to believe that the insurer was insolvent or was about to become insolvent.
(d) The creditor receiving the transfer was any of the following:
(i) An officer of the insurer.
(ii) An employee, attorney, or other person who was in fact in a position of comparable influence with the insurer as an officer whether or not he or she held an officer position.
(iii) A shareholder holding directly or indirectly more than 5% of any class of any equity security issued by the insurer.
(iv) Another person, firm, corporation, or association with whom the insurer did not deal at arm's length.
(3) If the preference is voidable, the liquidator may recover the property or, if the property has not been converted, the property's value from a person who has received or converted the property. However, if a bona fide purchaser or lienor has given less than fair equivalent value, he or she shall have a lien upon the property to the extent of the consideration actually given by him or her. If a preference by way of lien or security title is voidable, the court may on due notice order the lien or title to be preserved for the benefit of the estate and if so ordered, the lien or title shall pass to the liquidator.
(4) A transfer of property other than real property shall be considered to be made or suffered when it becomes so far perfected that no subsequent lien obtainable by legal or equitable proceedings on a simple contract could become superior to the rights of the transferee. A transfer of real property shall be considered to be made or suffered when it becomes so far perfected that no subsequent bona fide purchaser from the insurer could obtain rights superior to the rights of the transferee. A transfer that creates an equitable lien shall not be considered to be perfected if there are available means by which a legal lien could be created. A transfer not perfected prior to the filing of a petition for liquidation shall be considered to be made immediately before the filing of the successful petition. The provisions of this subsection apply whether or not there are or were creditors who might have obtained liens or persons who might have become bona fide purchasers.
(5) A lien obtainable by legal or equitable proceedings upon a simple contract is a lien arising in the ordinary course of such proceedings upon the entry or docketing of a judgment or decree, or upon attachment, garnishment, execution, or like process, whether before, upon, or after judgment or decree and whether before or upon levy. It does not include liens that under applicable law are given a special priority over other liens that are prior in time.
(6) A lien obtainable by legal or equitable proceedings could become superior to the rights of a transferee, or a purchaser could obtain rights superior to the rights of a transferee within the meaning of subsection (4), if that superiority would follow only from the lien or purchase itself or from the lien or purchase followed by any step wholly within the control of the respective lienholder or purchaser, with or without the aid of ministerial action by public officials. Such a lien could not, however, become superior and such a purchase could not create superior rights for the purpose of subsection (4) through any acts subsequent to the obtaining of the lien or subsequent to the purchase which require the agreement or concurrence of a third party or which require further judicial action or ruling.
(7) A transfer of property for or on account of a new and contemporaneous consideration which is considered under subsection (4) to be made or suffered after the transfer because of delay in perfecting it does not thereby become a transfer for or on account of an antecedent debt if any acts required by the applicable law to be performed in order to perfect the transfer as against liens or bona fide purchasers' rights are performed within 21 days, or a period expressly allowed by the law, whichever is less. A transfer to secure a future loan, if the loan is actually made, or a transfer that becomes security for a future loan, shall have the same effect as a transfer for or on account of a new and contemporaneous consideration.
(8) If a lien considered voidable under subsection (2) has been dissolved by the furnishing of a bond or other obligation and the surety on which has been indemnified directly or indirectly by the transfer of or the creation of a lien upon the insurer's property before the filing of a petition under this chapter which results in a liquidation order, then that indemnifying transfer or lien shall also be considered voidable.
(9) The property affected by a lien considered voidable under subsections (1) and (8) shall be discharged from the lien, and that property and any of the indemnifying property transferred to or for the benefit of a surety shall pass to the liquidator, except that the court, upon due notice, may order the lien to be preserved for the estate's benefit and the court may direct that a conveyance be executed as may be proper or adequate to evidence the liquidator's title.
(10) The circuit court shall have summary jurisdiction of a proceeding by the liquidator to hear and determine the rights of parties under this section. Reasonable notice of each hearing in the proceeding shall be given to all parties in interest, including the obligee of a releasing bond or other like obligation. If an order is entered for the recovery of indemnifying property or for the avoidance of an indemnifying lien, the court, upon application of any party in interest, shall ascertain in the same proceeding the value of the property or lien, and if the value is less than the amount for which the property is indemnity or than the amount of the lien, the transferee or lienholder may elect to retain the property or lien upon payment of its value, as ascertained by the court, to the liquidator, within such reasonable times as the court shall fix.
(11) The liability of the surety under a releasing bond or other like obligation shall be discharged to the extent of the value of the indemnifying property recovered or the indemnifying lien nullified and avoided by the liquidator, or if the property is retained under subsection (10), to the extent of the amount paid to the liquidator.
(12) If a creditor has been preferred, and afterward in good faith gives the insurer further credit without security of any kind for property that becomes a part of the insurer's estate, the amount of the new credit remaining unpaid at the time of the petition may be set off against the preference that would otherwise be recoverable from him or her.
(13) If an insurer, directly or indirectly, within 4 months before the filing of a successful petition for liquidation under this chapter or at any time in contemplation of a proceeding to liquidate, pays money or transfers property to an attorney for services rendered or to be rendered, the transactions may be examined by the court on its own motion or shall be examined by the court on petition of the liquidator and shall be held valid only to the extent of a reasonable amount to be determined by the court and the excess may be recovered by the liquidator for the estate's benefit. If the attorney is in a position of influence with the insurer or an affiliate of the insurer, payment of any money or the transfer of any property to the attorney for services rendered or to be rendered shall be governed by the provision of subsection (2)(d).
(14) An officer, manager, employee, shareholder, member, subscriber, attorney, or other person acting on behalf of the insurer who knowingly participates in giving a preference if he or she has reasonable cause to believe the insurer is or is about to become insolvent at the time of the preference shall be personally liable to the liquidator for the amount of the preference. If a transfer was made within 4 months before the date of filing of a successful petition for liquidation, an inference may be made that reasonable cause existed to believe the insurer was or was about to become insolvent at the time of the preference. A person receiving property or the benefit of the property from the insurer as a preference voidable under subsection (1) shall be personally liable for the property or benefit and shall be bound to account to the liquidator. Nothing in this subsection shall prejudice any other claim by the liquidator against any person.
(15) For delinquency proceedings commenced after January 1, 1990, and notwithstanding any other provision of law, commissions paid to insurance agents or agencies by an insurer in the ordinary course of business at a time when the insurer was authorized to transact such business are not recoverable unless the agent or agency is affiliated with the insurer or produces more than 10% of the insurer's premium.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 500. Insurance Code of 1956 § 500.8128 - last updated February 09, 2022 | https://codes.findlaw.com/mi/chapter-500-insurance-code-of-1956/mi-comp-laws-500-8128/
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