Shortly after the application deadline, the Fund begins the process of evaluating all requests for grants. Final decisions for 2021 grants will be made in late November. All applicants, successful and unsuccessful, will be notified of the Board’s decision by December 4, 2020
It is too soon to determine the size of the 2021 grant pool. Our funding availability depends upon the rate of interest we earn on attorney trust account balances. Due to the Pandemic and economic issues related to the Pandemic Interest rates have been falling since March and will continue to have a negative impact on our 2020 revenues. It is too early to determine to what degree this impact will have on revenues. In any event, there can be no assurance that the Fund will grant the requested amount to any applicant or that repeat applicants will receive continued funding.
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News for Attorneys and Law Firms:
NOTICE TO THE BAR
IOLTA FUND OF THE BAR OF NEW JERSEY
Annual Registration Requirement—Final Notice
The Regulations of the IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey approved by the New Jersey Supreme Court require that trust accounts subject to Rule 1:28A shall be registered annually with the IOLTA Fund. Those attorneys not in compliance for 2020 will be administratively ineligible to practice law in New Jersey. The last day to submit the 2020 IOLTA Online Registration Form is October 16, 2020.
If you are not now in private practice, you must respond so that we can adjust our records. There are no fees associated with IOLTA registration.
All attorney trust, escrow and master accounts must be included in the registration. In December 2019, the IOLTA Fund posted a Notice to the Bar and emailed instructions for IOLTA registration to the billing email addresses on file with the Lawyers Fund for Client Protection for New Jersey law firms and sole practitioners, requesting online registration covering all firm attorneys by March 27, 2020 (Extended through April 30, 2020 due to Covid-19). A second reminder was emailed on July 7, 2020 to all non-compliant attorneys.
Final Notices were emailed on September 10, 2020 to the billing address on record with the Supreme Court for receiving official Court information. All future IOLTA information will be emailed. Please be sure to add Info@Ioltanj.org to your safe sender list.
Any attorney who is not sure if he or she is in compliance may contact the IOLTA Fund via email at Info@Ioltanj.org. Online registration instructions and other important information can be obtained at www.ioltanj.org.
Mary E. Waldman, Executive Director
For the IOLTA Board of Trustees
September 10, 2020
NOTICE TO THE BAR
Re: IOLTA Ineligible List
The Supreme Court has entered an Order declaring attorneys who have not
complied with the mandatory IOLTA program to be administratively ineligible to
practice law. The Court's Order, which takes effect November 25, 2019, and the list
of ineligible attorneys are being published with this Notice.
Attorneys on the IOLTA ineligibility list will remain there until in full
compliance with the requirements of Rule 1:28A-2(d) and the IOLTA Trustees so
report to the Court.
Questions should be addressed to:
Ms. Mary Waldman, Executive Director
IOLTA Fund of the Bar ofNew Jersey
One Constitution Square
New Brunswick New Jersey
08901-1500 (732) 247-8222
Dated: November 19, 2019
NOTICE TO THE BAR
USE OF NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY REGISTRATION EMAIL ADDRESSES BY IOLTA
Attorneys admitted to practice in New Jersey are required to provide the
Supreme Court with a valid email address for receiving official information and
notifications related to the attorney's annual registration and billing or other court
business, pursuant to the Order of the Supreme Court dated July 20, 2017. The
email address provided by an attorney for this purpose is confidential and not
subject to public access (unless also provided as an email address fore-filing), as
attorneys were reminded by Notice to the Bar on November 15, 2017. Changes to
email addresses and other contact information may be made online by logging on
Rule 1:21-6 directs that one or more of the New Jersey trust accounts
maintained by attorneys practicing New Jersey law be an IOLTA account or
accounts required by Rule 1 :28A. The Supreme Court has authorized the IOLTA
Fund of the Bar of New Jersey (IOLTA) to use the billing and registration email
addresses of New Jersey attorneys in connection with the responsibilities of
IOLTA and attorneys engaged in the private practice of New Jersey law under
Rule 1 :28A-2, effective immediately.
Questions about IOL TA accounts or IOL TA registration should be directed to IOLTA at firstname.lastname@example.org
Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D.
Acting Administrative Director of the Courts
Dated: July 24, 2018
NOTICE TO THE BAR
New Executive Director of the IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey
Ellen D. Ferrise, who served as Executive Director of the IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey since 1998, retired at the end of April 2017. Pursuant to Rule 1:28A-4(d) and as approved by the Supreme Court, Mary E. Waldman has been appointed by the IOLTA Board of Trustees to succeed Ms. Ferrise as Executive Director effective May 1, 2017.
Christopher John Stracco, Chair IOLTA Board of Trustees
Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D. Acting Administrative Director of the Courts
Dated: May 22, 2017
About NCUA Insurance on Attorney Trust Accounts
On December 18, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Parity Act creating deposit insurance parity for credit unions by directing the National Credit Union Administration to extend share insurance coverage to trust accounts such as IOLTA and other similar accounts. This means that each client's funds held in a pooled attorney trust account can now be insured up to the maximum limit, generally $250,000 per depositor per institution. New rules and regulations for this new aspect of NCUA coverage have not yet been published.
The Dodd-Frank Act, signed into law on July 21, 2010, permanently raised the standard maximum deposit insurance amount to $250,000, applicable to both banks and credit unions.
Law firms are required to maintain an attorney trust account at an approved depository. Approval is given on behalf of the Supreme Court of New Jersey by the Office of Attorney Ethics when a financial institution agrees to report overdrafts and cooperate with the IOLTA program. The approval of a credit union to offer trust accounts in New Jersey does not imply an endorsement of that institution's safety and soundness. It is the law firm's responsibility to select a credit union based on financial condition, convenience and other factors.
Special Note: The law was effective immediately. Law firms and attorneys are encouraged to check the list of approved trust account depositories before proceeding to open a new account because most NJ credit unions have not yet been authorized.
This publication may add to your understanding of share account insurance available at federally-chartered credit unions: http://www.mycreditunion.gov/protect/Pages/SI.aspx.
If it seems too good to be true, it usually is
New Jersey attorneys should be alert to scams involving attorney trust accounts.
Typical scams aimed at law offices include:
- messages alleging that the recipient's IOLTA account has insufficient funds to pay an outstanding check;
- an emailed request, often from overseas, for help in collecting a divorce settlement
from an ex-spouse;
- unsolicited email requests, often from overseas, for legal help collecting money or judgments, sometimes apparently coming from actual professionals/companies;
- a real estate transaction for an overseas client not referred to you by a reliable source; or
- impersonation of law firms by scam artists who issue bogus checks.
There are no special protections afforded to an IOLTA account. If you deposit a fraudulent check and disburse the funds before sufficient time has passed to clear the check and allow for any returns, you are responsible for the ensuing overdraft. Many of the scams mentioned above involve amounts from $200,000 to $500,000.
Cases involving bank fraud are investigated by the Secret Service. If you are targeted, contact an office in your area. Internet fraud should be reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
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News for Banks and Credit Unions:
NCUA INSURANCE COVERAGE OF TRUST ACCOUNT DEPOSITS
On December 18, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Parity Act creating deposit insurance parity for credit unions by directing the National Credit Union Administration to extend share insurance coverage to trust accounts such as IOLTA and other similar accounts. While new rules have not been published yet, the Act was effective immediately. Credit unions must first be approved by the Office of Attorney Ethics before offering attorney trust accounts to law firms.
FDIC COVERAGE OF TRUST ACCOUNT DEPOSITS
FDIC coverage of attorney trust accounts is different than for ordinary bank accounts. To link to the FDICÂs brochure about insured deposits, click here:
ACCOUNT OPENING PROCEDURES FOR A NEW TRUST ACCOUNT
All new attorney trust accounts should be opened as non-interest bearing checking accounts. Please instruct the attorney or law firm to call IOLTA to request registration forms. Together with the attorney we will determine if the account should be converted to interest-bearing for IOLTA. Until then, use the attorney's Tax I.D. number (NOT the IOLTA number).
Attorneys do not need our permission or any paperwork to open an attorney trust account. You should allow use of the account in accordance with your usual policies. We will correspond with your Deposit Operations area if the lawyer indicates to us that the account should be an IOLTA.
The word "IOLTA" should not appear on checks or deposit slips. Do include the phrase: Attorney Trust Account, preferably on the second line. If the account is later converted to an IOLTA, the account title will be modified to include the word "IOLTA" but the checks and deposit slips can stay unchanged.
If your bank is providing digital images, you should know that attorneys are required to comply with Rule 1:21-6(b) which mandates no more than two checks per page (front and back).
BANKS AND CREDIT UNIONS SEEKING TO BECOME AUTHORIZED DEPOSITORIES
The Supreme Court of New Jersey requires that attorneys maintain their trust accounts with institutions that maintain deposit insurance from a federal government agency such as FDIC or NCUA, are willing to cooperate with the IOLTA program and meet the Best Customer Standard and report overdrafts to the Office of Attorney Ethics.
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