News Release

Texas Access to Justice Foundation 
February 10,
  2020

Keystone Bank Joins Prime Partner Bank Program
Program Boosts Funding for Legal Aid in Texas
 

AUSTIN, Texas–– — The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (TAJF) proudly welcomes Keystone Bank – with locations in Austin, Bee Cave and Ballinger – as the newest member of its Prime Partner Bank program. Prime Partner banks and credit unions make a direct impact on the funding available to help low-income Texans with their civil legal issues by voluntarily paying higher interest rates for Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA).

All attorneys that handle client funds are required to keep those funds in IOLTA accounts until they can be made available to a client. The Texas Access to Justice Foundation receives funding from the interest generated by these accounts and uses the money to distribute grants to legal aid providers throughout Texas. This funding provides legal assistance to more than 150,000 Texas families each year.

“Many Texans face serious legal issues, such as escaping situations of domestic violence or avoiding foreclosure, and simply do not have the resources to hire an attorney,” Richard L. Tate, chair of the board of directors for the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, said. “By paying higher interest rates on IOLTA accounts, Keystone Bank is helping ensure that low-income Texans have access to life-saving civil legal services.”

Due to low interest rates since 2007, as estimated $156 million in funding for legal services for low-income and disadvantaged Texans has been lost in IOLTA. Prime Partner banks pay 75 percent of the Federal Funds target rate interest on IOLTA accounts, which is above and beyond the eligibility requirements for banks participating in the IOLTA program.

“Keystone Bank is committed to making our community a better place to live and work,” Jeff Wilkinson, CEO said. “We are excited to join the Prime Partner Bank program to help improve and stabilize the lives of disadvantaged Texans who need legal help.” 

Approximately 5.5 million Texans qualify for legal aid and many are turned away simply because legal aid providers do not have the resources or funding to help everyone in need. Prime Partner banks help mitigate the decline in revenue available to fund legal aid.

Keystone Bank is now one of nearly 60 banks that participate in the Prime Partner Bank program across the state. See a current list of Prime Partner banks in Texas at: http://www.teajf.org/financial_institutions/prime_partners.aspx

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The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (www.teajf.org), created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1984, is the leading state-based funding source for the provision of civil legal aid in Texas. The organization is committed to the vision that all Texans will have equal access to justice, regardless of their income. The Foundation administers a variety of funding sources, which are earmarked to assist nonprofit organizations in providing legal aid to more than 150,000 Texas families each year.

A lot like Austin, Keystone Bank was founded on the principles of integrity, honesty and resilience. Today, we're helping our customers meet their financial goals by being great listeners and even better problem solvers. Give us a ring or stop by. With combined experience of more than 100 years, we know banking. But we especially know Austin banking. 

 

Contact: Kimberly Schmitt
512-320-0099, ext. 104
kschmitt@teajf.org

 

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