Frequently Asked Questions – Attorneys
Q: What are attorneys’ responsibilities under the IOLTA rules if they
do not handle client trust funds?
A: Licensed attorneys in Texas who do NOT handle client trust funds are not required
to establish an IOLTA account. However, such attorneys are required to advise the
Texas Access to Justice Foundation during the annual IOLTA compliance process that
they do not handle client trust funds.
Q: Where do attorneys deposit client trust funds that do not meet the short-term
or nominal fund requirements of IOLTA?
A: Client trust funds that do not meet the nominal or short-term fund requirements
of an IOLTA account should be deposited in a separate demand account to earn interest
for the benefit of that client. The attorney must use that client’s tax I.D.
number instead of the Foundation’s tax I.D.
Q: Do attorneys have to pay for service charges on IOLTA accounts?
A: Allowable reasonable fees are the only fees and service charges that may be deducted
by an eligible institution from interest earned on an IOLTA account. Allowable reasonable
fees may be deducted from interest or dividends on an IOLTA account only at the
rates and in accordance with the customary practices of the eligible institution
for non-IOLTA customers. No fees or service charges other than allowable reasonable
fees may be assessed against the accrued interest or dividends on an IOLTA account.
Any fees and service charges other than allowable reasonable fees shall be the sole
responsibility of, and may only be charged to, the attorney or law firm maintaining
the IOLTA account.
Q: Does the IOLTA program pay for the checks, deposit slips and other related
fees on the client trust accounts?
A: No. The Foundation will pay reasonable service charges on the IOLTA account.
However, the Foundation does not pay for checks, wire transfers or other business
expenses associated with the account.
Q: What do attorneys or law firms have to do to open an IOLTA account?
A: The attorney or law firm must take the IOLTA
Notice to Financial Institution to the financial institution in which the
IOLTA account will be opened. This form instructs the financial institution how
to establish an IOLTA account. Once the account is opened, the financial institution
must complete the form. The attorney, law firm or bank must then mail or fax a copy
of the completed form to the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. For more information,
please see How to Open an IOLTA account.
Oct. 25, 2016
TAJF Luncheon Kicks Off Pro Bono Week: ATJ Community Honors Legislative Heroes
Sept. 19, 2016
Carlos M. Zaffirini, Jr., Apppointed to TAJF Board of Directors
Sept. 14, 2016
Names 2016 Equal Justice Works Fellows
Aug. 22, 2016
Parenting Order Legal Line: Increasing Parenting Time for the Benefit of
- ABA Dialogue
Aug. 10, 2016
Legal aid groups aid to help poor families make smart decisions
July 8, 2016
Help for sexual assault survivors
- Corpus Christi Caller-Times
July 8, 2016
One reason so many veterans are homeless? They can't afford lawyers.
- Washington Post
June 6, 2016
Investing in Justice: Legal Aid for Survivors of Sexual Assault.
- Philanthropy Southwest
May 19, 2016
Undue process: Poor people lose homes, children and money without a lawyer
May 18, 2016
Military Sexual Assault Victims Discharged After Filing Complaints
May 9, 2016
Rape survivors on a mission to help others...
- Dallas Morning News
Apr. 6, 2016
Texas Legal Hotline Now Available
for Sexual Assault Survivors
Feb. 22, 2016
North East Texas Credit Union Joins Prime Partner Program
Dec. 16, 2015
Statement on Fed Funds
Rate Increase and Impact on IOLTA
Nov. 17, 2015
Western Bank Joins Prime Partner Program
Nov. 17, 2015
TAJF Honors Jim Harrington with Kleinman Award
Nov. 6, 2015
Nathan L. Hecht and William H. McRaven: It’s our turn to help veterans -
Dallas Morning News
Nov. 4, 2015
Nov. 9- 13 is Texas Veterans Legal Aid Week
Oct. 26, 2015
Pro Bono Week Celebrated at Texas Access to Justice Luncheon
Oct. 1, 2015
TAJF Announces Grants for Veterans' Legal Services
Sept. 8, 2015
Two New Members Appointed to the TAJF Board