The Texas Access to Justice Foundation currently administers several funds, which are earmarked for the provision of civil legal aid. One of these funds, the Texas Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Program, was created in 1984 as a mechanism to enable poor Texans to have access to the civil justice system.
When an attorney receives nominal funds or funds held for a short period of time, he or she must deposit the funds into an interest-bearing IOLTA bank account. The collected interest is remitted to the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, which then grants the money to nonprofit groups across the state on a yearly basis.
The Supreme Court of Texas has adopted IOLTA rules requiring Texas attorneys to place IOLTA accounts at eligible financial institutions. If your financial institution currently holds IOLTA accounts, and you would like to learn more about becoming eligible, visit the Become an Eligible Financial Institution section for more information.
If your institution does not currently hold IOLTA accounts, please contact Janice Cappiello at 512.320.0099, ext. 108, before opening IOLTA accounts. You must acquire a bank code and a packet of instructions and forms from the Foundation before qualifying for the eligibility process. <
FDIC Protection - Updated
Dec. 31, 2010
All funds in IOLTA accounts at Insured Depository Institutions are insured in full under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) temporary unlimited insurance program which is in effect from December 31, 2010, through December 31, 2012. All IOLTA accounts at financial institutions that did not opt out of the Transaction Account Guarantee Program (TAGP) also have unlimited insurance for the same period of time.
Unless extended by Congress, after December 31, 2012, unlimited FDIC coverage will not be available on IOLTA or other non-interest bearing accounts. Starting January 1, 2013, the standard FDIC insurance amount will be $250,000 per depositor. Because the FDIC considers IOLTA and other lawyer/law firm trust accounts as fiduciary accounts, the per depositor coverage means that funds of individual clients and third persons in a trust account will be fully insured up to the $250,000 maximum, including any funds a client or third person also has on deposit at the same insured depository institution.
A link to the FDIC web page for more information can be found at: http://www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/changes.html
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CHANGES TO IOLTA RULES EFFECTIVE JAN. 13, 2009
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