Fraudulent Conveyances Act 1571

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The Fraudulent Conveyances Act 1571 (13 Eliz 1, c 5), also known as the Statute of 13 Elizabeth, was an Act of Parliament in England, which laid the foundations for fraudulent transactions to be unwound when a person had gone insolvent or bankrupt. The Act itself was repealed by the Law of Property Act 1925 s 207, but the successor to the rules laid down are now found in the Insolvency Act 1986 s 423.


It is clear from the text of the statute that it was framed in a purposive manner. So if someone had the intention of defrauding a creditor, unless a transaction was made bona fide and for good consideration, it would be void.

Cases under the Act[edit]

  • Alderson v Temple (1768) 96 ER 384, Lord Mansfield held the Act applied, not just to fraudulent conveyances, but also the granting of fraudulent preferences. He said a ‘fraudulent preference by a debtor, if made on the eve of, and followed by, the bankruptcy of the debtor, has been void against his creditors; because it aims at preventing that equal distribution of assets among the creditors, which has always been the object of those laws.’

United States[edit]

Many U.S. states enacted their own versions of the Statute of 13 Elizabeth after the American Revolution. The Act was later superseded by the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyances Act of 1918 (UFCA), which in turn was superseded by the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act of 1984 (UFTA). To date, UFTA has been enacted in 43 states and the District of Columbia.

Both the Bankruptcy Act of 1938 and the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 also included their own versions of the UFCA, thus ensuring that bankruptcy trustees can "avoid" (in other words, reverse) fraudulent transfers made by the bankrupt person within a certain time window before they filed for bankruptcy.

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