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Bar News - September 17, 2014

NH Bar Foundation News: Bank of America Settlement Directs Funds to IOLTA


There was good news last month for civil legal aid programs in New Hampshire, as well as all 50 states, the District of Columbia and US territories with IOLTA programs.

The US Department of Justice announced that as part of a $17 billion settlement with the Bank of America over mortgage irregularities, some $7 billion is allocated to consumer relief, with $30 million directed to “foreclosure prevention and community redevelopment” legal services.

Each IOLTA program will receive at least $200,000; the remainder will be distributed based on the percent of the population in poverty, according to the National Association of IOLTA Programs. Other provisions in the settlement may channel more dollars from the settlement to IOLTA programs.

It is not known when the money will be received by NH’s IOLTA program or what rules will govern the grants to be made by the NH Bar Foundation.

In a letter to the Department of Justice, Charles Dunlap, president of the national IOLTA group, wrote: “As part of the fabric of our national legal community, IOLTA programs respond particularly to the portion of the mission statement of the Department of Justice that reads ‘…to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.’ Please know that the IOLTA community stands with you and the Department of Justice as a proud partner in this goal.”

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