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IOLTA Update

• Income received in 2020 through November from participating financial institutions totaled $4.3 million, a decrease of 10% compared to the same time period last year. Given the economic conditions triggered by the pandemic, this decrease was initially anticipated to be much worse.

• IOLTA’s reserve fund has a current balance of $2,473,932. The IOLTA Board established the reserve fund to provide for stabilizing year-to-year funds available for grantmaking when income declines.

• NC IOLTA continues to work with banks holding IOLTA accounts that seek to adjust their interest rates and policies as a result of economic conditions. IOLTA encourages banks to communicate with IOLTA prior to adjusting rates to ensure continued compliance with the State Bar rules regarding IOLTA.

• At the December 1 grantmaking meeting, the IOLTA trustees approved 2021 IOLTA grant awards. Regular 2020 IOLTA grants totaled nearly $3,025,700: $2,491,700 to providers of direct civil legal services, $352,000 to volunteer lawyer programs, and $182,000 to projects to improve the administration of justice.

• An additional grant of $454,090 was made with funds from the national Bank of America settlement to the Home Defense Project Collaborative to support foreclosure prevention legal services.

• NC IOLTA administers state funding on behalf of the NC State Bar under the Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Act. Funds generated by costs assessed in civil and criminal court actions are distributed to Legal Aid of North Carolina and Pisgah Legal Services to support legal assistance for domestic violence victims. Since the start of the state’s fiscal year in July, NC IOLTA has administered $321,864 in domestic violence state funds. Funds received under the act continue to be significantly less than pre-pandemic levels.

• Each year, NC IOLTA produces a report on the funding administered under the Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Act. The report for 2019-20 can be found at nciolta.org/publications.