MidSouth Bank has partnered with the Texas Access to Justice Foundation’s Prime Partner Bank program. As part of the program, MidSouth Bank will voluntarily pay higher interest rates for Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts, or IOLTA.
“Many Texans face serious legal issues, such as escaping situations of domestic violence or avoiding foreclosure, and simply do not have the resources to hire an attorney,” said Richard L. Tate, chair of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation Board of Directors, in a press release. “By paying higher interest rates on IOLTA accounts, MidSouth Bank is helping ensure that low-income Texans have access to lifesaving civil legal services.”
All attorneys are required to keep client funds in IOLTA accounts until they can be made available to the clients. TAJF receives funding from the interest generated by these accounts and uses it to distribute grants to Texas legal aid providers. This funding provides legal assistance to more than 150,000 Texas families each year.
Low interest rates have led to a 53% decline in IOLTA revenue since 2007 resulting in a loss of nearly $152 million for legal services for disadvantaged Texans. Prime Partner Bank program members pay 75% of the federal funds target rate on IOLTA accounts.
“MidSouth Bank is committed to making our communities batter places to live and work,” said Chris Mosteller, chief banking officer of MidSouth Bank, in a press release. “We encourage others in the community to join our efforts to level the legal playing field for the economically disadvantaged among us, and we are excited to be a part of the Prime Partner Bank program, which can drastically improve the lives of these fellow Texans.”
For more information on TAJF, go to teajf.org. Additional information on the Prime Partner Bank program can be found at teajf.org/financial_instiutions/prime_partners.aspx.