News Release

Texas Access to Justice Foundation 
November 29, 2012

The National Banks of Central Texas Join Prime Partner Program

The AUSTIN, Texas —  The National Banks of Central Texas in Gatesville are the newest members of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation’s Prime Partner Bank program. Prime Partner banks and credit unions voluntarily pay higher interest rates on Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA), and have a direct impact on the amount of money available to help low-income Texans with their civil legal issues.

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation receives a large portion of its funding from IOLTA accounts—a method to fund legal aid by collecting interest on client trust accounts—and uses this money for grants to legal aid providers in the state that help more than 100,000 Texas families each year. Prime Partner financial institutions pay one percent on IOLTA accounts, which is above and beyond the eligibility requirements for banks participating in the IOLTA program.

“By making the choice to pay higher interest rates on IOLTA accounts, The National and our other Prime Partners help ensure that low-income Texans will have access to basic civil legal services,” Richard L. Tate, chair of the board of directors for the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, said. “During these difficult economic times, many Texans are facing serious challenges, such as foreclosures or domestic violence situations, and simply do not have the funds to hire an attorney.”

The National Banks of Central Texas have branches in Copperas Cove, Gatesville, Hewitt, Kempner, Killeen, Lampasas, and Waco.

“The National is committed to serving and helping our local community,” David Barnard, CEO and chairman of the board of The National, said. “We are proud to become a Prime Partner and hope that the additional funds generated will make a significant difference in the lives of low-income Texans in need of civil legal services.”

More than 5.7 million Texans qualify for legal aid and the increasing civil legal needs of the poor continue to outpace the funding available for civil legal services. Legal aid offices assist in matters dealing with family, housing, employment and consumer law, and those recovering from the effects of natural disasters. 

Lone Star Legal Aid, Disability Rights Texas, and a veteran’s legal clinic at Baylor Law School are among the legal aid programs in Central Texas that receive funding from the Texas Access to Justice Foundation.

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation has seen more than a 75 percent decline in IOLTA revenue since 2007 due to the impact of low interest rates. Prime Partners help to mitigate the decline in revenue available to fund legal aid.

 

# # #

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (www.teajf.org), created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1984, is the primary state-based funding source for the provision of civil legal aid in Texas. The organization is committed to the vision that all Texans will have equal access to justice, regardless of their income. The Foundation administers a variety of funding sources, which are earmarked to assist nonprofit organizations in providing legal aid to approximately 100,000 Texas families each year.

 

Contact: Kimberly Schmitt
512-320-0099, ext. 104
kschmitt@teajf.org

 

 

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