Michigan State Bar Foundation

306 Townsend Street, Lansing, Michigan 48933
Telephone: 800-968-6723 ♦ 517-346-6400 ♦ FAX: 517-371-3325
Web Site: www.msbf.org ♦ Email: iolta@msbf.org

Contact Person for Financial Institution Questions:
Rick Winder at 800-968-6723 or 517-346-6402

 

IOLTA 
(Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts)

The IOLTA program receives interest on lawyer's pooled trust accounts (interest bearing commercial checking accounts) that hold clients funds that are either so small in amount or held for such a short time, that the funds can not generate enough net interest to benefit the individual client. The Michigan Supreme Court designates 70 percent of these funds to support civil legal services for the poor. More than $36 million in IOLTA funds has been allocated for public purposes in Michigan since IOLTA began in 1990.

Financial Institutions that reduce or completely waive fees on IOLTA accounts allow for more substantial grant funds to be available for critical legal services to aid Michigan's citizens. These funds, allocated by the Michigan State Bar Foundation, help Michigan's legal service providers assist the state's most vulnerable residents with problems such as domestic violence, child support, health care, and other critical needs.

More than 80 percent of Michigan's financial institutions waive IOLTA fees. These institutions are presented with plaques by the Foundation and are put on the "IOLTA Honor Roll of Financial Institutions", which is published regularly on the web and in other formats.

IOLTA Resources for Lawyers and Financial Institutions:

The "Notice to Eligible Financial Institution" form (Acrobat document) is used by financial institutions to set up IOLTA accounts. The fillable version "Notice to Eligible Financial Institution" form permits you to enter the information into the form and print the form. With a full version of Adobe Acrobat, the completed form can be saved to a disk or emailed.

The Honor Roll of Financial Institutions (Acrobat document) is a list of all financial institutions that waive fees on IOLTA accounts.

The IOLTA FAQ's are contained in the Attorney IOLTA Guidelines Brochure which was approved by the Michigan Supreme Court. It provides information about the guidelines regarding financial institutions offering IOLTA accounts and contains a list of frequntly asked questions about the IOLTA program.

The Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1.15 contains the IOLTA provisions adopted by the Michigan Supreme Court.

The Michigan Financial Institutions IOLTA Handbook provides guidance for financial institutions in administering the IOLTA program.

The IOLTA Remittance Report can be used to provide remittance information regarding IOLTA accounts to the Michigan State Bar Foundation. The Microsoft Excel version of the Remittance Report can be used to complete the form electronically. It can be e-mailed to ioltareport@msbf.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR FOR QUESTIONS REGARDING IOLTA, email iolta@msbf.org or call the Foundation at 800-968-6723.



NOTE: TAON (TRUST ACCOUNT OVERDRAFT NOTIFICATION) RULE

Before an institution may offer any lawyer trust accounts (IOLTA or non-IOLTA accounts), the requirements of MRPC 1.15A must be met. Under TAON, financial institutions must first obtain approval from the State Bar of Michigan to serve as a depository for lawyer trust accounts by submitting a signed agreement that they will provide overdraft reports to the account holder and to the Attorney Grievance Commission. For more information about TAON, see http://www.michbar.org/opinions/TAON.cfm (effective March of 2015 this link will be changed to http://www.michbar.org/opinions/TAON).