(if you are an attorney, your questions can probably be answered by the Lawyer FAQ.)
Q. What is an IOLA account?
An Interest on Lawyer Account (IOLA Account) is a type of attorney escrow account in which lawyers can pool the small (or briefly-held) deposits of multiple clients. Please see our About IOLA page for more information.
Q. Should we offer IOLA accounts?
No bank is required to participate in the IOLA program. However, since many attorneys are required to maintain IOLA accounts as part of their practice, almost 200 New York banks choose to offer IOLA accounts as a service to attorneys or firms.
Q. We wish to start offering IOLA accounts. Can we just start opening them today?
No, You must submit a request to the Fund to become a “participating bank.” You cannot open IOLA accounts until you have been approved by the Fund.
Q. How do we become a participant in the IOLA program?
Click here to download our New Bank Package. After you submit all required information to the Fund (and assuming your proposed interest rate complies with IOLA's regulations), the Fund will send you the information you will need to begin participating.
Q. How do we set the interest rate on IOLA accounts?
The Trustees’ Regulations provide a standard of “comparability” which requires that IOLA accounts pay no less than the highest rate paid on comparable accounts at the bank. To determine which accounts at your bank are comparable, see Section 7000.9 of the Trustees Regulations, or contact the Fund for assistance.
Q. We have been approved. What next?
Download IOLA's Operational Guidelines for banks. It contains all the information you will need to begin offering IOLA accounts to your customers. If you have any further questions, contact the Bank Liaison at the Fund.
Q. How does the FDIC cover IOLA deposits?
The FDIC insurers the owner of the Funds held in an attorney’s IOLA escrow account at a bank. For details about the coverage, see www.fdic.gov
Deposits in IOLA accounts at credit unions are not insured by the FDIC but by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, subject to limiting rules. See www.ncua.gov.
Q. We are cant submit the remittance report?
Please see the Guide to Transmitting a Remittance Report.
Q. What do we need to do when we adjust the interest rate on our IOLA accounts?
To ensure that the new rate on your IOLA account still complies with the standard of comparability required in the Trustees’ Regulations, you should submit a revised Similar Account Interest Rate Compliance Report to the Fund at least 30 days prior to the effective date of the new rate. If you have any questions, refer to the Operational Guidelines and contact the Bank Liaison at the Fund.