(a) At any time prior to or following the acquisition described in subsection (a), (b) or (c), section fourteen of this article, the buyer or other recipient may file a certified petition with the commission requesting that the commission waive the payment by the buyer or other recipient of premiums, premium deposits, interest and imposition of the modified rate of premiums attributable to the predecessor employer or other penalty, or any combination thereof. The commission shall review the petition by considering the following seven factors:
(1) The exact nature of the default;
(2) The amount owed to the commission;
(3) The solvency of the fund;
(4) The financial condition of the buyer or other recipient;
(5) The equities exhibited towards the fund by the buyer or other recipient during the acquisition process;
(6) The potential economic impact upon the state and the specific geographic area in which the buyer or other recipient is to be or is located, if the acquisition were not to occur; and
(7) Whether the assets are purchased in an arms-length transaction.
Unless requested by a party or by the commission, no hearing need be held on the petition. However, any decision made by the commission on the petition shall be in writing and shall include appropriate findings of fact and conclusions of law. The decision shall be effective ten days following notice to the public of the decision unless an objection is filed in the manner provided in this section. Notice shall be given by the commission's filing with the Secretary of State, for publication in the state register, of a notice of the decision. At the time of filing the notice of its decision, the commission shall also file with the Secretary of State a true copy of the decision. The publication shall include a statement advising that any person objecting to the decision must file, within ten days after publication of the notice, a verified response with the commission setting forth the objection and the basis for the objection. If any objection is filed, the commission shall hold an administrative hearing, conducted pursuant to article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, within fifteen days of receiving the response unless the buyer or other recipient consents to a later hearing. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to be applicable to the seller or other transferor or to affect in any way a proceeding under sections five and five-a of this article.
(b) In the factual situations set forth in subsection (a), (b) or (c), section fourteen of this article, if the predecessor's modified rate of premium tax, as calculated in accordance with section four of this article, is greater than the manual rate of premium tax, as calculated in accordance with that section, for other employers in the same class or group, and if the new employer does not already have a modified rate of premium, it shall also assume the predecessor employer's modified rates for the payment of premiums as determined under sections four and five of this article until sufficient time has elapsed for the new employer's experience record to be combined with the experience record of the predecessor employer so as to calculate the new employer's own modified rate of premium tax.