Bar News - April 20, 2007
Bar Foundation Salutes Lawyers, Bankers for IOLTA Program
By: Susan Noon, NH Bar Foundation, Program and Communications Director
Every spring the NH Bar Foundation extends its appreciation to New Hampshire lawyers and banks that participate in the IOLTA Program (Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts).
Forty banks, including 18 Leadership Banks, participate in this program approved under Rule 50 by the NH Supreme Court in 1982. Funds in lawyers’ trust accounts that are either too small or held for too short a period of time to earn interest for clients are pooled through the IOLTA Program so they may earn interest to be used for charitable purposes to serve New Hampshire residents. Funds that wouldn’t normally earn interest are now put to work to provide funding for civil legal services for the elderly and the disadvantaged and public education about the law and the courts. The Bar Foundation provides stewardship of the funds and makes annual grants to nonprofit organizations serving New Hampshire residents.
The Leadership Banks have created special rates for IOLTA accounts that yield 2 percent or higher, exceed the bank’s standard NOW account rate, and waive routine service charges. Leadership Banks support the mission of the Bar Foundation and demonstrate a true commitment to community-based banking. Leadership Banks include: Bank of America; Bow Mills Bank and Trust; Centrix Bank; Citizens Bank; Community Guaranty Savings Bank; First Colebrook Bank; Laconia Savings Bank; Mascoma Savings Bank; Meredith Village Savings Bank; Merrimack County Savings Bank; Monadnock Community Bank; Ocean National Bank; Passumpsic Savings Bank; Salem Co-operative Bank; Southern NH Bank; Sovereign Bank; TD Banknorth and TD Banknorth Massachusetts.
Through the IOLTA Program, New Hampshire lawyers and banks make it possible for dozens of nonprofit organizations to provide services in counties statewide. In 2007, 14 programs, including CASA NH, Legal Advice and Referral Center, NH Legal Assistance, NH Pro Bono Referral Program, International Institute of NH, The Support Center at Burch House, Women’s Supportive Services, NH Bar Association Law-Related Education Program and several others, provided legal services and education to thousands of youths, adults, and elderly citizens. The New Hampshire Bar Foundation provided IOLTA Grants in the amount of $1,730,000 in 2007.