Financial Institutions

About Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA)

Attorneys routinely receive client funds to be held in trust for future use. If the amount is large or the funds are to be held for a long period of time, the attorney customarily places these moneys at interest for the benefit of the client. However, in the case of amounts that are small or to be held for a short time, it is impractical to establish separate interest-bearing accounts for individual clients. In IOLTA, attorneys place these nominal and short-term funds into a commingled escrow account that can generate interest income which financial institutions send to the Maryland Legal Services Corporation Fund for grants to programs which provide civil legal services to the poor.

Bank Compliance with IOLTA Requirements

Before establishing the Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Program for your lawyer customers, please review the MLSC “A Guide to the IOLTA Program for Financial Institutions.”

MLSC has prepared forms for you to use to participate in the IOLTA Program. The forms may be downloaded individually from this web site and submitted by email to iolta@mlsc.org or mailed on disk to MLSC (15 Charles Plaza, Suite 102, Baltimore, MD 21201).

If you need further information or if the MLSC staff can be of any assistance to you in your implementation or operation of the IOLTA program, please call us at 410-576-9494 or toll-free at 800-492-1340.