Financial institutions provide the substance of IOLTA.

WisTAF

 

Contingent on interest rates, IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts) funds help sustain providers of invaluable legal services such as helping people combat discrimination, resolve disability claims, become independent from an abusive partner, and much more.

 

Trust accounts

Lawyers have fiduciary obligations to safeguard and account for the funds and property of clients and others in their possession. A trust account must be maintained to hold the funds of clients and third parties that come into a lawyer’s possession in connection with a representation.

Examples of funds which must be placed in trust accounts include:

  • Personal Injury Settlements
  • Divorce Settlements
  • Real Estate Escrows and Closing Proceeds
  • Advanced Fees for legal services
  • Cost Advances

SCR 20:1.15 (cm)(6) states “A lawyer or law firm shall direct the IOLTA participating institution at which the lawyer or law firm’s IOLTA account is located to do all of the following, on at least a quarterly basis:

  • Remit to WisTAF the interest or dividends, less allowable reasonable fees as allowed under par. (5), if any, on the average monthly balance in the account or as otherwise computed in accordance with the IOLTA participating institution’s standard accounting practice.
     
  • Provide to WisTAF a remittance report showing for each IOLTA account the name of the lawyer or law firm for whose IOLTA account the remittance is sent, the rate and type of interest or dividend applied, the amount of allowable reasonable fees deducted, if any, the average account balance for the period for which the report is made, and the amount of remittance attributable to each IOLTA account.
     
  • Provide to the depositing lawyer or law firm a remittance report in accordance with the participating institution’s normal procedures for reporting account activity to depositors.
     
  • Respond to reasonable requests from WisTAF for information needed for purposes of confirming the accuracy of an IOLTA participating institution’s certification.

At the time an attorney client establishes and IOLTA trust account with your institution, you will need to have them complete two forms: the Attorney IOLTA Trust Account Agreement (send a copy to WisTAF upon completion) and the Overdraft Notification Agreement (forward a copy to the Office of Lawyer Regulation upon completion).

If your institution does not currently hold IOLTA accounts, please contact WisTAF Program Assistant Tehmina Islam at (608) 257-6845, before opening IOLTA accounts. You will receive a financial institution IOLTA account manual and forms in order to help you establish and administer the account/s.

 

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PRIME PARTNER SPOTLIGHT

A Prime Partner member of the Wisconsin IOLTA program since 2010, Mound City Bank strives to be the most admired community bank in the State of Wisconsin. Mound City Bank goes above and beyond IOLTA participation requirements by paying additional interest on its clients' IOLTA accounts - helping to expand access to civil legal services in Wisconsin.


Contact us
WisTAF
825 Williamson Street, Suite A, Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608.257.6845 or 877.749.5045 (toll-free)
Fax: 608.257.2684
Email: service@wistaf.org

Board & Staff
WisTAF
Board of Directors
WisTAF
De Ette Tomlinson, Executive Director
WisTAF
Rebecca Murray, Program Manager
WisTAF
Tehmina Islam, Program Assistant

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