Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions by attorneys on IOLTA. For more information about how IOLTA works in your state, please visit the ABA Directory of IOLTA Programs to find out how to contact your state's IOLTA program.
Q. What is IOLTA?
A. IOLTA stands for "Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts." 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 place the money at interest for the benefit of the client. If the client funds are not capable of earning income for the client in excess of the costs of securing such income, then they are pooled in a single account with similar funds of other clients. In the past, these funds were deposited into non-interest-bearing checking accounts. Currently, under rules and/or statutes in every state, an attorney may or must pool eligible client funds in an interest-bearing account (i.e. IOLTA), with the interest used for charitable and educational purposes.
Q. How do I participate my state's IOLTA program?
A. Each state has its own IOLTA program. Some state IOLTA programs are voluntary (which gives an attorney a choice to participate or to opt out of participating), and other state IOLTA programs are mandatory, requiring attorneys to participate. For information about how to enroll in your state, please visit the ABA Directory of IOLTA Programs to find out how to contact your state's IOLTA program.