FINAL NOTICE (Posted January 31, 2016)
At the close of this day, my assignment as Deputy Liquidator for Integrity Insurance Company in Liquidation ends. The following notice conveys that event. Click here to download.
NOTICE (Posted January 10, 2016)
To: Creditors and all Trading Partners
From: Deputy Liquidator White
We have added Judge Wilson’s Order formally closing the Estate to this web site. If you wish to download it, click on the downloads icon above. You may recall that the Court’s March 28, 2014 Order authorized the Estate closing and provided for approval of a number of future steps incident to that closing, e.g., distribution of some $35 million of remaining assets, escheating of unclaimed funds, destruction of records and a final accounting to the Court. It is this last matter that was the principal subject of the motion leading to Judge Wilson’s Order of January 6, 2016. All Estate operations are now complete and the Estate is liquidated.
We are gratified to have marshaled sufficient assets so that we could make a final distribution that cumulatively represented 92 cents on the dollar.
Would that such a result could have been effected years earlier. As many of you know, the Liquidator sought an early closing of the Estate using estimation techniques common in federal bankruptcy. Because such techniques are not specified in state statutes, including those of New Jersey, we sought judicial authority. Judge William C. Meehan’s insightful order of July 21, 2004 provided that authority but a later Appellate Division order reversed it. Fortunately, the N.J. Supreme Court (“NJSC”) recognizing the hollowness of that appellate reversal sanctioned its appeal. Notwithstanding the NJSC’s understanding of what the Liquidator endeavored to do, the Court in a 3-2 decision concluded that the Estate could not use estimation techniques for certain claim liabilities.
The NJSC decision near the end of the Estate’s 20th year of operation left the Liquidator with the choice of continuing operations for an undetermined period or cutting off further claims. The latter course of action was chosen and the Court’s order of June 20, 2008 authorized such a cutoff closing plan. After the Estate received final claims, evaluated and adjudicated the claims, the Court issued its March 28, 2014 closing order.
During the life of the Estate, creditors, including state Guaranty Associations, often disagreed with actions of the Estate. It is clear that such creditor disagreements were always made in good faith. Likewise the Estate’s reinsurers vigorously opposed the estimation closing plan mentioned above. Nevertheless, this opposition never affected our reinsurers response to the payment of allowed claims. In a similar vein, reinsurers negotiated commutations with the Estate in good faith without seeking to leverage the existing litigation to some advantage. For this we are grateful to all our trading partners.
Over these nearly 29 years the Estate’s trading partners have had numerous interactions with our staff. Whether this was documentation for guaranty associations, guidance for policyholder or third party creditors, or claims audits and inquiries from reinsurers, the feedback I have received has consistently been positive. These good people have, indeed, effectively served the Estate---no brag; just fact. And I, the Deputy Liquidator, am grateful.
NOTICE (Posted February 17, 2015)
We are pleased to report that the one remaining legal matter referred to in our December 26, 2014 update has now been resolved. The Supreme Court of New Jersey denied the appellant’s petition for certification.
We will begin mailing distribution checks the week of February 16, 2015. This distribution will be from the assets we previously encumbered in connection with the NJ Supreme Court petition.
Once the related administrative tasks are complete we will advise the Liquidation Court and cease insolvency operations. The Estate will be closed pursuant to the Court’s earlier order.
We appreciate our creditors’ patience as we resolved the numerous court challenges. We are pleased that the appellate courts in New Jersey consistently agreed with the Liquidator’s legal position in these disputes related to the Amended Liquidation Closing Plan.
Integrity Insurance Company was placed in liquidation in March 1987. With this distribution the Estate’s priority four creditors will have received some 92% of their allowed claim(s). Though such a result is satisfying, our preference would have been to accomplish it in less than twenty-eight years.
NOTICE (Posted December 26, 2014)
Effective December 23, 2014, all mail being sent to Integrity Insurance Company in Liquidation should be addressed to P.O. Box 509, Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927. Our telephone number and web address remain unchanged at 201-262-9300 and www.iicil.org.
We are still awaiting a decision, from the Supreme Court of New Jersey, on the last remaining objecting creditor's request for certification.
NOTICE (Posted April 1, 2014)
On March 28, 2014, the Liquidation Court approved the Estate’s motion for a winding-up order (“Liquidation Court Order”) to which there was one objection (“Objection”). The objector sought a delay so that it would have an opportunity to seek certification of an appeal to the Supreme Court of New Jersey (“Supreme Court”) notwithstanding that the Supreme Court had previously denied such certification. We are confident that this initiative will be as unsuccessful as the prior one. But rather than delay a substantial distribution of the Estate’s assets to its creditors, we agreed to encumber sufficient assets to provide for this claim in the unlikely event that (1) the Supreme Court grants certification and (2) the Supreme Court is persuaded to accept the appellant’s argument and directs the Liquidator to allow the claim.
The Estate staff has begun efforts to effect the distribution sanctioned by the Liquidation Court. We will use March 31, 2014 as the valuation date for assets available for distribution and we anticipate commencing distributions by June 1, 2014.
NOTICE (Posted March 11, 2014)
NOTICE (Posted March 6, 2014)
Motion to Close the Estate. Click on Downloads to view a document comprised of the following items: 1) Cover letter from Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, LLC, 2) Notice of Motion for an Order Confirming the Final Distribution of Assets, and Closing the Estate, 3) Certification of Richard L. White in Support of Motion, 4) Amended Liquidation Closing Plan Recitals, 5) Proposed Final Distribution Formula, and 6) Order Approving the Final Distribution of Assets and Closing the Estate.
NOTICE (Posted February 11, 2014)
On January 30, 2014, the Supreme Court of New Jersey denied the motion for certification filed by the last remaining unsuccessful appellant objector. As indicated earlier, we will now proceed with preparing our motion for winding-up the Estate and making our final distribution. Upon the issuance of an enabling Court order, the timing of which is indeterminate at this time, we will commence the final distribution of assets to eligible creditors.
NOTICE (Posted December 12, 2013)
A motion was timely filed, by the last remaining unsuccessful appellant objector, for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of New Jersey. All briefs have now been filed by both parties, and we must await the Court’s decision to deny or grant the appeal.
If denied, we will proceed with our motion for winding-up the Estate and making our final distribution. If granted, it will necessarily affect the closing schedule of the Estate.
NOTICE (Posted September 26, 2013)
On September 26, 2013 the NJ Appellate Division issued its decision in the last remaining objection in connection with the Amended Liquidation Closing Plan. That decision, affirming the Liquidation Court's order supporting the Liquidator's claim disallowance clears the way, absent a successful motion by the appellant for leave to appeal (to the Supreme Court of New Jersey), for Integrity to prepare its motion for winding-up the Estate and making a final distribution.
Should there be a motion for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of New Jersey, we will have to await the Court's decision denying or granting such a motion. In such a case, you can be certain that we will use the intervening period to prepare for an expeditious distribution and winding-up process.
NOTICE (Posted June 25, 2013)
Since our last update, we have received favorable decisions on two of the three pending objections: one from the Appellate Division dated June 17, 2013 and one from the Supreme Court of New Jersey dated June 19, 2013. We are waiting to see if any further motions are filed on these matters by the objectors.
NOTICE (Posted May 17, 2013)
NOTICE (Posted May 1, 2013)
On April 15, 2013, Integrity received a release from any liability to the Federal Government under 31 U.S.C. § 3713(b), commonly referred to as the "superpriority" statute. Under this provision of federal law, the Federal Government takes the position that before any distribution can be made to creditors, the Federal Government must be paid first. While the Federal Government agreed to Integrity making interim distributions under a prior written agreement, it nevertheless maintained its right to superpriority of distributions. This release removes any impediment from the Federal Government under 31 U.S.C. § 3713(b) to a final distribution of Integrity's remaining assets.
Today, May 1, 2013, Integrity presented oral argument to the NJ Appellate Division on the one remaining claim objection that had not been heard. Our hope is that the Appellate Division will issue its opinion in this matter, as well as its opinion in one other pending matter that was argued late in 2012, by the fall of this year. Likewise, we hope to receive the opinion of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, in a matter argued in January 2013, sometime this year.
Once these opinions are received, Integrity will be in a position to comprehensively determine its liability for fourth priority claims, estimate its remaining overhead liability, and file for a final distribution and winding-up order with the Liquidation Court. Upon Court approval of such an order, Integrity will immediately commence the disbursement of a final distribution to all eligible fourth priority creditors. Since this distribution will not satisfy 100% of fourth priority liabilities, there will not be a distribution to lower priority creditors.
Because a final distribution is a function of (1) the NJ Appellate and Supreme courts' opinion issuing process and (2) the NJ Superior Court's (Liquidation Court) approval of a final distribution and winding-up motion, we cannot accurately estimate when a final distribution can be effected. Our hope is for sometime in the first half of 2014.
NOTICE (Posted September 13, 2012)
Since our last update, posted February 2, 2012, we have received favorable decisions on 5 of the 8 objections that are pending against the Estate.
We are hopeful that all objections will be resolved by the first half of 2013 and that we will be in a position to calculate and file our final distribution with the Liquidation Court before the end of 2013.
NOTICE (Posted February 2, 2012)
Due to the recent resolution of several objections, we are now in a position to bring all Priority 4 non-guaranty association creditors, whose claims were allowed from September 1, 2009 to December 31, 2011, to the currently approved 70% distribution rate. Correspondence to those creditors affected by this distribution will commence in the latter part of February.
There are still 8 objecting creditors with claims at various stages of the appellate process. We are hopeful of a final resolution of these matters during 2012 and to be in a position to calculate and make our final distribution in 2013.
NOTICE (Posted December 6, 2011)
Status of the Integrity Estate
As of November 30, 2011, all claim objections presented to the Special Master have been decided. Thus far, 7 of the remaining 10 objecting creditors have appealed the Liquidation Court's approving order, and those appeals are in various stages of the appellate process. As is evident from the Estate's status report posted on July 28, 2011 (see below), forecasting the resolution of the judicial process is difficult. Currently, we expect to know the number of appeals, and the schedule of those appeals, sometime in the first quarter of 2012. At that time, we will be in a position to determine the timing of a final distribution to creditors.
NOTICE (Posted July 28, 2011)
Status of the Integrity Estate as of June 30, 2011
The Amended Liquidation Closing Plan ("ALCP") provided for all creditor claims to be valued as of June 30, 2009, to be filed by September 30, 2009, and for the Liquidator to issue Notices of Determination ("NODs") by January 28, 2010. The ALCP also afforded creditors the right to object to the NODs within 60 days of issuance. The Estate received objections from 61 creditors, which involved 163 claims. Many of the objections were able to be resolved. The unresolved objections were submitted for adjudication to a Special Master appointed by the Liquidation Court. The Special Master received briefings from creditors and the Liquidator, heard oral arguments, and rendered determinations either upholding the NOD or accepting the creditor's objection. These determinations were then submitted to the Liquidation Court for its consideration and approval, if warranted. After the Liquidation Court considered and ruled on the Special Master's determination, the parties could appeal to the N.J. Appellate Division.
As of June 30, 2011, the Special Master has heard all claim objections and is in the process of completing his determinations which we expect to be finalized by August 15, 2011. As set forth above, the losing party may challenge the determination to the Liquidation Court and then to the Appellate Division. We expect that any matters which will be appealed to the Appellate Division will be filed by November 2011. Once all appeals are filed, the Liquidator expects to be in a position to determine the timing of a final distribution to creditors.
NOTICE (Posted December 29, 2009)
The Order appointing the Honorable William C. Meehan (retired) as Special Master was signed by the Court on December 22, 2009.
NOTICE (Posted December 8, 2009)
NOTICE (Posted October 8, 2008)
NOTICE (Posted September 10, 2008)
NOTICE (Posted August 7, 2008)
NOTICE (Posted June 27, 2008)
NOTICE (Posted June 19, 2008)
An Amended Liquidation Closing Plan was filed with the Superior Court of New Jersey Chancery Division-Bergen County on June 12, 2008. The Amended Liquidation Closing Plan reflects the adoption of certain suggestions of creditors as follow:
The definition of Absolute Claim in Section 1.1 has been amended so that the Liquidator will accept a claim as being absolute where liability and value have been fixed in accordance with claim resolution procedures approved by a federal bankruptcy court.
Section 4.2 has been amended to include the requirement that the Liquidator respond within 120 days from the Final Claims Filing Date to each Final Proof of Claim form filed. The Liquidator may obtain from the Liquidation Court an extension of this deadline upon a showing of good cause. This section has also been amended to provide that a copy of each Notice of Determination will be sent by first class mail to the applicable guaranty association.
Section 7.3 has been amended to provide that notice will be given to the service list in the event the Liquidator files a motion with the Liquidation Court to further amend the Liquidation Closing Plan.
Section 8.3 has been amended to provide that notice will be given to the service list in the event the Liquidator petitions the Liquidation Court for instructions to disperse assets received after the entry of the order closing the Estate.
NOTICE (Posted May 15, 2008)
Our motion to increase the distribution rate an additional 5% on Fourth Priority Claims was approved by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division-Bergen County, effective May 6, 2008. Distribution letters will begin to be mailed by the end of May.
NOTICE (Posted March 24, 2008)
NOTICE (Posted February 20, 2008)
NOTICE (Posted December 26, 2007)
A Case Management Conference has been scheduled for January 25, 2008 at 1:30 p.m. at the Bergen County Superior Court, Bergen County Justice Center, 10 Main Street, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601, before the Honorable William C. Meehan, P.J.S.C.
This Case Management Conference is pursuant to the Supreme Court opinion of December 13, 2007 remanding the case back to Chancery Division for further proceedings.
NOTICE (Posted December 19, 2007)
The Supreme Court of New Jersey has issued their opinion, dated December 13, 2007, affirming in part and vacating as moot in part the judgment of the Appellate Division.
The opinion is being reviewed with the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance and with counsel.
NOTICE (Posted August 9, 2007)
Our motion for leave to appeal was granted on July 3, 2007, by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. We are awaiting the scheduling, by the Court, of a hearing date.
NOTICE (Posted April 10, 2007)
An Order was entered January 25, 2007, by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, granting American Standard Companies, Inc. leave to intervene and file an appeal of the Appellate Division's decision of October 2, 2006. Integrity Insurance Company in Liquidation filed a motion on March 28, 2007 for leave to participate in this appeal.
NOTICE (Posted November 21, 2006)
An Order was issued, dated November 21, 2006, by the Superior Court of New Jersey-Bergen County granting American Standard Companies Inc. leave to intervene and file a Pleading in Intervention with the Supreme Court of New Jersey in the matter of the Appellate Division’s October 2, 2006 opinion.
NOTICE (Posted November 2, 2006)
The Appellate Division has issued their opinion, dated October 2, 2006, reversing the approval of the Fourth Amended Final Dividend Plan previously granted by the Superior Court of New Jersey-Bergen County.