News Release

Texas Access to Justice Foundation 
 June 6, 2017

First National Bank of Aspermont Joins Prime Partner Bank Program
Program Boost Funding for Legal Aid in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (TAJF) welcomes First National Bank of Aspermont as the newest member of the Prime Partner Bank program. Prime Partner banks and credit unions voluntarily pay higher interest rates for Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA), and make a direct impact on the amount of money available to help low-income Texans with their civil legal issues.

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation receives funding from IOLTA accounts—a method to fund legal aid by collecting interest on client trust accounts—and uses the money to distribute grants to legal aid providers throughout Texas. This funding provides legal assistance to more than 100,000 Texas families each year. Prime Partner financial institutions pay 1 percent on IOLTA accounts, which is above and beyond the eligibility requirements for banks participating in the IOLTA program.

“By making the choice to pay higher interest rates on IOLTA accounts, First National Bank of Aspermont is helping ensure that low-income Texans will have access to basic civil legal services,” Richard L. Tate, chair of the board of directors for the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, said. “Many Texans face serious legal issues, such as escaping situations of domestic violence, and simply do not have the funds to hire an attorney.”

First National Bank of Aspermont, founded in 1901, remains one of the oldest businesses serving Stonewall County and the surrounding areas. In addition to providing financial support, FNB Aspermont takes a personal interest in donating time to the community. The bank is now one of nearly 60 banks that participate in the Prime Partner Bank Program across the state.

Due to low interest rates, the Texas Access to Justice Foundation has seen a 75 percent decline in IOLTA revenue since 2007. The decline in IOLTA revenue has resulted in decreased funding for access to the justice system for low-income and disadvantaged Texans.

“First National Bank of Aspermont values serving the community,” President Ralph Riddel, III said. “We are excited to become a Prime Partner Bank and look forward to the additional funds generated making a strong impact on underprivileged Texans who need legal services.” 

More than 5.3 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.

See a current list of Prime Partner banks in Texas at: http://www.teajf.org/financial_institutions/prime_partners.aspx

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

 

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