The Kansas Bar Foundation will be accepting grant proposals under its Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts program until Monday, Aug. 24. This year the Kansas IOLTA grant program will distribute $80,000 to organizations that support law-related public service projects and programs for low-income Kansans. To learn more about IOLTA or access the grant application packet, visit http://www.ksbar.org/grants.
This year, two new categories were developed in legal assistance for foreclosure prevention and community redevelopment from funds received from a Bank of America settlement resolved from allegations of misrepresentation. From a $16.5 billion settlement, $200,000 has been distributed to each of the IOLTA programs nationwide and any remaining moneys has been allocated based on percentage of each state’s population living in poverty.
Since 1984 the IOLTA program has been collecting the interest from lawyers’ commingled client trust accounts that are held in noninterest-bearing accounts. The client funds deposited in these accounts are either so small or will be held for such a short amount that any interest generated would be less than the expenses to set up a separate account or separate out, keep appropriate tax records or dispense interest to each client. However, when a number of these short-term funds are pooled together, they can produce a significant amount of revenue.