Illinois attorney registration for 2018 is now underway. As you complete your registration with the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission, you will be asked to report on whether you maintain a client trust account and to provide information about the account.
If you maintain an IOLTA account, the annual registration is a good occasion to ensure that your IOLTA account is working properly by checking on the following:
- Is your IOLTA account at an eligible financial institution? Rule 1.15 requires eligible banks to agree to notify the ARDC about overdrafts and to pay interest rates that are comparable to those the banks pays on non-IOLTA accounts. You can view a list of currently eligible financial institutions posted online by the Lawyers Trust Fund and the ARDC.
- Is the interest from your IOLTA account being remitted to the Lawyers Trust Fund? Your bank statement should indicate a credit for interest earned on the account, as well as a debit reflecting the remittance of that interest. If the statement shows interest simply accumulating in the account, the account is not properly established as an IOLTA account. Please contact LTF for assistance.
- Does your IOLTA account contain money you can’t identify?
While Rule 1.15(b) allows lawyers to deposit funds to meet service charge and minimum deposit requirements, other balances belonging to the lawyer should not be held indefinitely. If your IOLTA account has balances that cannot be identified as belonging to you or to a client/third party, you should remove those funds pursuant to the unidentified funds requirement in Rule 1.15(i).
- Are you ready for e-filing? Mandatory e-filing means lawyers will need to pay filing fees vie electronic payment methods beginning January 1, 2018. Check out LTF’s Guide to E-filing and IOLTA Accounts to learn more.
- Do you have questions about your IOLTA account? Contact LTF for help.