News Release

Texas Access to Justice Foundation 
November 9, 2009

Waco Banks Recognized for Supporting Legal Services to the Poor
Four Waco-area banks to receive "Prime Partner Award"

AUSTIN, Texas The Texas Access to Justice Foundation will recognize BBVA Compass, Fidelity Bank of Texas, First National Bank of Bosque County, and Independent Bank on Tuesday, Nov. 10, for their support of legal services to the poor as Prime Partners in the state’s Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program.  Prime Partner banks, which pay interest at higher rates than other participating banks, have a direct, positive impact on the amount of money available to help low-income Texans with their basic civil legal issues.

The Waco-area banks will receive the “Prime Partner Award” from the Foundation at the monthly luncheon of the Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Association, held at noon on Nov. 10 at the La Fiesta Party Room, Franklin Ave., in Waco.   “We are pleased to recognize the efforts of these local banks -- that go above and beyond the requirements -- for helping increase funding for legal aid to low-income citizens in the McLennan County area who so desperately need help,” said Craig Cherry, President, Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Association.

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation receives a significant amount of its funding from IOLTA accounts and uses this money for grants to legal aid service providers across Texas, including Lone Star Legal Aid, Advocacy Incorporated, and Catholic Charities of Central Texas, which provide services in McLennan County.  

“Legal Aid programs are severely under-funded and unable to meet the overwhelming demand for legal services,” Betty Balli Torres, executive director of the Foundation, said.  “Prime Partner banks are to be commended for their efforts in aiding those who desperately need assistance for a wide range of legal issues, including domestic abuse, landlord-tenant disputes, life-sustaining service denials and other civil matters.”  With the recent drop in interest rates, Prime Partners help to mitigate the decline in revenue available to fund legal aid.

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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 approximately 100,000 Texans each year.

 

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

 

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