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This sounds really strange. I would not take them at their word on this and would suggest that you investigate further by obtaining and reading a copy of the policy contract she signed. Make sure that you have written proof that you have attempted to pay the premiums on time (i.e. send a letter via certified mail return receipt requested and reference the check number and the amount and the months for which you are submitting premiums manually. Do this first to prevent any lapse, then read the life insurance policy carefully to make sure she has been charged premiums in accordance with the contract that was signed.
Terminating the policy in this manner would normally be a breach of contract.