News Release

July 13, 2023

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

AUSTIN, Texas ––Texas Access to Justice Foundation, the largest state-based funding source for civil legal aid, announced today Cendera Bank is the newest bank to join the Foundation’s Prime Partner program, an ongoing initiative allowing thousands of Texans to receive more accessible legal assistance. Cendera Bank has locations in Bells, Dallas, Fort Worth and Tyler.

Prime Partner banks and credit unions voluntarily pay higher interest rates for Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA), a method of raising money for civil legal aid and to support improvements to the justice system. Prime Partner financial institutions pay 75% of the Federal Funds Target Rate on IOLTA accounts, which is well above the eligibility requirements for banks participating in the IOLTA program.

“When faced with evictions, domestic violence situations and other economic hardships  that require legal assistance to navigate, many Texans do not always have the financial resources to hire a lawyer,” Deborah Hankinson, chair of the board of directors for the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, said. “The Prime Partner program is vital in helping the Foundation provide essential legal aid services to more than 100,000 Texans across the state each year. We look forward to making a difference with Cendera Bank as a Prime Partner bank.”

Approximately five million Texans qualify for legal aid, the second-highest number in the nation. Legal aid organizations help Texas families each year, but due to a lack of resources, many continue to suffer or unsuccessfully attempt to represent themselves in the complex court system.

“Cendera Bank is proud to partner with the Texas Access to Justice Foundation by joining the Texas IOLTA Prime Partner program, which funds legal services for thousands of Texans,” Sheri Auker, Vice President and Deposit & Treasury Services Manager at Cendera Bank said. “We are dedicated to serving our community and are delighted that the additional funds generated will directly impact and improve upon the lives of Texans in need of legal help.”

Attorneys who handle client funds are required to keep those funds in IOLTA accounts until they can be made available to a client. TAJF receives funding from the interest generated by these accounts and uses the money to distribute grants to legal aid providers throughout the state. Prime Partners are critical to increasing this funding source that is essential to helping many of Texas’ most vulnerable residents. 

For more information on becoming a Prime Partner, visit:

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he Texas Access to Justice Foundation, created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1984, is the largest 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 100,000 Texas families each year. For more information, please visit:


Contact: Kimberly Schmitt
512-320-0099, ext. 104


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