Bar News - May 17, 2013
NH Bar Foundation: IOLTA – Fast Facts & Tips
In the 31-year history of New Hampshire’s Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts program (IOLTA), more than $31.5 million in interest has been directed to charitable purposes by the New Hampshire Bar Foundation.
New Hampshire was the second state in the nation to have an operational IOLTA program, a variant of which now exists in every state. In cooperation with the banking community, IOLTA pooled accounts allow funds that would otherwise earn no interest to generate income for the NH Bar Foundation’s IOLTA grants program, which supports civil legal services for the poor and education about our legal system. (Grants for fiscal year 2014 will be announced in next month’s Bar News.)
Nine of the 41 banks in New Hampshire’s IOLTA program have been designated as Leadership Banks. These banks have generously agreed to pay 2 percent interest (some also waive service charges) on deposits for pooled IOLTA accounts.
The NH Bar Association encourages its members to open accounts and do business at Leadership Banks to boost the impact of this program.
To find a list of all participating banks, visit www.nhbarfoundation.org.
Bank of New Hampshire
Community Guaranty Savings Bank
Mascoma Savings Bank
Meredith Village Savings Bank
Merrimack County Savings Bank
Passumpsic Savings Bank
Sugar River Bank
Pointers on opening an IOLTA account
Use the correct Tax ID number. Use the Bar Foundation’s ID number for IOLTA accounts: 02-0333762
What funds get deposited in an IOLTA account?
Client funds that are not expected to generate interest above and beyond the costs associated with opening a separate account should be pooled in an IOLTA account. Conversely, client funds that can be expected to generate net income for the client should not be deposited in an IOLTA account. Attorneys need to use their own discretion. Factors to consider include fees and interest rates on standard NOW accounts, cost of staff time and law firm expense, amount of the deposit and time it will be held.
Are all attorneys required to participate in IOLTA?
All attorneys are required to participate in IOLTA unless exempt from this requirement – see SC Rule 50(1)(F).