On February 4, 2015, the Michigan Supreme Court adopted an amendment to Michigan Rule of Professional Conduct (MRPC) 1.15, adding credit unions authorized to do business in Michigan to the list of financial institutions eligible to hold IOLTA accounts (Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts). Credit Unions that wish to offer IOLTA accounts to their customers can review and link to additional information, such as guidelines, forms for establishing IOLTA accounts and remitting interest/dividends, a financial institutions handbook and other assistance at the IOLTA Information web page.
Before a Michigan lawyer may establish a trust account at a financial institution, that financial institution must first submit a signed agreement to be approved to serve as a depository for lawyer trust accounts (whether an IOLTA account or a non-IOLTA account) under MRPC 1.15A, which requires the reporting of overdrafts on such accounts. More information regarding the Trust Account Overdraft Notification (TAON) Rule, MRPC 1.15A, including a quick reference guide, can be found here.
The IOLTA program, which has been in existence for 25 years, is a longstanding partnership between the legal profession and Michigan’s financial institutions. Participating financial institutions remit the net interest or dividends from IOLTA accounts to the Michigan State Bar Foundation to support charitable projects such as nonprofit civil legal aid agencies that help low-income families throughout our State. For assistance or questions, contact Rick Winder at the Michigan State Bar Foundation, which administers the IOLTA program, at Rick@msbf.org or 800-968-6723.