From: Kathy Butler [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2008 9:29 AM
Subject: FDIC RIN 3064-AD37
I am a Texas attorney who is interested in legal services to the poor. I
write to raise my concern about the potential unintended consequences to the
Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program associated with your
announced Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TLGP).
IOLTA funds provide a critical source of revenue for basic civil legal
services to the poor in Texas. These individuals are the most vulnerable in
our communities, including the elderly, persons with disabilities and
victims of domestic abuse. Without this source of funding, the citizens ably
served by these programs would, in effect, be excluded altogether from
participation in our justice system, and would consequently be deprived of
any ability to obtain its protection.
IOLTA is the second largest resource available nationally to ensure that the
promise of equal justice is made available to all Americans, regardless of
their income. In Texas, the need for legal advice and representation has
never been more critical as legal aid offices across the country are being
besieged by additional requests as a result of needs stemming from Hurricane
Ike and resulting from the severe economic downturn. For many of these
families, access to legal advice and assistance might be all that stands
between them and the growing rate of homelessness facing needy families
I urge the FDIC to consider IOLTA accounts as non-interest bearing accounts
under the terms of the TLGP. This position is supported by the very
structure of IOLTA. No attorney or client have any expectation of receiving
interest on the short-term escrow accounts that are accumulated to support
the provision of legal assistance to the poor.
If the FDIC cannot consider IOLTA accounts to be non-interest bearing, we
would ask in the alternative that an exception be made in the TLGP interim
rules providing unlimited deposit insurance to IOLTA accounts.
I appreciate your consideration of our request. I would be happy to provide
further information at any time.
Katherine L. Butler
Butler & Harris
1007 Heights Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77008