On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County, Law Division.
Approved for Publication March 31, 1997. As Amended March 27, 1997.
Before Judges Pressler, Humphreys and Wecker.
Plaintiff obtained a default judgment in August 1994 against the defendant for some $91,000. Thereafter, defendant transferred assets to his sister including half of his stock in a corporation. Defendant appeals an order entered on January 31, 1996 which set aside the transfers.
Defendant contends: (1) his transfer of the stock interest created a joint venture which is "immune" from a judgment lien against him; (2) the court may not cancel the transfer of his stock interest to a non-party because there was consideration for the transfer based upon a past indebtedness; (3) in making the stock transfer, he did not violate any statutory provisions and no fraudulent intent was shown; (4) in order to prove fraud, a hearing had to be held; and (5) his sister should have been made a party defendant prior to the court acting on the motion.
After a review of the record and the arguments presented, we find that the issues raised by the defendant are clearly without merit. See R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E).
After the entry of the judgment, the defendant was deposed. He testified that he had a one hundred percent interest in a corporation, Calvary Equities, Inc. and that he owned three horses. He testified that he owed over $500,000 and was "financially distressed." He also testified that he owed his sister, Elizabeth Goldmark, "some money," amounting to "maybe $50,000" and that there was no written note.
After his deposition, the defendant transferred to his sister a partial interest in his horses and Calvary Equities, Inc. Plaintiff moved for an order setting aside the transfers. A hearing was held. In an oral opinion on January 19, 1996, Judge Hamer found that the defendant was insolvent at the time of the transfers because he was "unable to meet his current obligations . . . [and] his assets [were] exceeded by his liabilities. . . ." The Judge also found that the defendant had not received any value for the transfers and that they constituted fraudulent conveyances.
The Judge entered an order on January 31, 1996 which provided, among other things, that: (1) all transfers of Calvary Equities capital stock to Elizabeth Goldmark be set aside; (2) defendant was to turn over to plaintiff all of his Calvary Equities stock certificates; and (3) defendant was to provide plaintiff with all documentation regarding the transfer, sale or other Disposition of any horses that he owned.
The Judge's findings were clearly correct under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act, N.J.S.A. 25:2-20 to 2-34. A transfer made by a debtor is fraudulent as to a creditor if the transfer was made:
With actual intent to hinder, delay or defraud any creditor ...