ULC News

 View Only

ABA House of Delegates Approves Four Uniform Acts

  • 1.  ABA House of Delegates Approves Four Uniform Acts

    Posted 02-05-2024 04:14 PM

    February 5, 2024 – Four uniform acts – the Uniform Collaborative Law Act, the Uniform Consumer Debt Default Judgments Act, the Uniform Special Deposits Act, and the Uniform Unlawful Restrictions in Land Records Act – have been approved by the American Bar Association's House of Delegates as "appropriate Acts for those states desiring to adopt the specific substantive law suggested therein."  The acts were approved at the ABA's 2024 Midyear Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, January 31 to February 5, 2024.  These acts were drafted and approved by the Uniform Law Commission.

    Uniform Collaborative Law Act.  The Uniform Collaborative Law Act (UCLA) regulates the use of collaborative law, a voluntary, client-driven form of alternative dispute resolution. It may be enacted by legislation, court rule, or a combination of the two.  The UCLA standardizes the most important features of the collaborative law process, protecting consumers, preventing lawyers from engaging in unethical practices, and creating rules governing the disclosure of information and evidentiary privilege.  The UCLA was approved by the ULC in 2009 and amended in 2010.  Since its promulgation, it has been enacted in 23 states.

    Uniform Consumer Debt Default Judgments Act. Numerous studies report that default judgments are entered in more than half of all debt collection actions. The purpose of the Uniform Consumer Debt Default Judgments Act (UCDDJA) is to provide consumer debtors and courts with the information necessary to evaluate debt collection actions. The UCDDJA provides consumer debtors with access to information needed to understand claims being asserted against them and identify available defenses; advises consumers of the adverse effects of failing to raise defenses or seek the voluntary settlement of claims; and makes consumers aware of assistance that may be available from legal aid organizations. The UCDDJA also seeks to provide a uniform framework in which courts can fairly, efficiently, and promptly evaluate the merits of requests for default judgments while balancing the interests of all parties and the courts.  This Act was approved by the ULC in 2023.

    Uniform Special Deposits Act. A special deposit is an account at a bank that holds funds that may be paid upon the occurrence of one or more contingencies. Although such accounts are common, the legal protections afforded to them are uncertain and outdated in the context of modern banking. The Uniform Special Deposits Act minimizes these legal uncertainties by providing clear and executable rules. First, the Act sets forth several elements for when a deposit is considered a "special deposit." Second, the Act specifies that a special deposit is a debt owed to the beneficiary after determination of a stated contingency. Third, the Act clarifies that a special deposit is remote from a depositor's bankruptcy estate unless the depositor has a determined right to the special deposit in its capacity as a beneficiary. Finally, the Act reduces the vulnerability created by the prospect of the bank holding the special deposit exercising a right of set off against the special deposit for a mature debt of the depositor or a beneficiary. The Uniform Special Deposits Act gives banks and their customers legal certainty that the expectations of special deposit account users will be respected.  This Act was approved by the ULC in 2023.

    Uniform Unlawful Restrictions in Land Records Act. The Uniform Unlawful Restrictions in Land Records Act allows property owners whose deed contains a discriminatory, prohibited restriction to record an amendment to the land records that effectively removes the restriction. Under the Act, individuals who own property in a common interest community that is subject to a prohibited restriction are empowered to record an amendment to the governing instruments that removes the restriction, either by majority vote of the members of the association or by sending a request to the governing body. The Act creates a path forward for property owners who want to correct the record on the often-painful history of their homes. This Act was approved by the ULC in 2023.

    Information on each of these uniform acts is available at the ULC's website at www.uniformlaws.org.

    The Uniform Law Commission, now in its 133rd year, provides states with non-partisan, well-conceived and well-drafted legislation that brings clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law.  The organization comprises more than 300 lawyers, judges, legislators, and law professors, appointed by the states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to research, draft and promote enactment of uniform state laws in areas of state law where uniformity is desirable and practical.  Since its inception in 1892, the group has promulgated more than 200 acts, among them such bulwarks of state statutory law as the Uniform Commercial Code, the Uniform Probate Code, and the Uniform Partnership Act. 


    Contact:  Katie Robinson, ULC Senior Director, Strategy & Communications, krobinson@... 

    Uniform Law Commission / 111 N. Wabash Ave., Suite 1010, Chicago, IL 60602 / 312-450-6600 www.uniformlaws.org

    Katie Robinson
    Senior Director for Strategy and Communications
    Chicago IL