NHLA receives $560,000 IOLTA grantPosted May 13, 2019
From New Hampshire attorneys to New Hampshire banks and the New Hampshire Bar Foundation, IOLTA funds support NHLA’s work for low-income and elderly residents
New Hampshire Legal Assistance was recently awarded $560,000 from the New Hampshire Bar Foundation’s IOLTA Grants Program to provide civil legal aid services to New Hampshire residents in the coming fiscal year.
Interest On Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) grants are funded by interest from bank accounts lawyers use to temporarily hold clients’ funds, such as escrow for real estate purchases. Individually, the funds wouldn’t earn much interest, so each law firm pools the funds together into one account. In 1982, the state Supreme Court mandated, and continues today to ensure, that the interest those accounts earn is distributed to civil legal aid programs that help low-income people navigate the legal system when they can’t afford to hire an attorney.
“Each year, the IOLTA grant supports civil legal aid at NHLA that helps thousands of New Hampshire residents protect their families’ basic needs, including their right to health care, housing, and safety from domestic violence,” said NHLA Executive Director Sarah Mattson Dustin. “We are proud to continue our partnership protecting access to justice for those in need.”
NHLA helped nearly 6,200 people across the state in 2018.
IOLTA funds strengthen many areas of legal aid at NHLA, including the Senior Law Project, which helped hundreds of seniors last year, including Rudolf. A 93-year-old World War II veteran, Rudolf authorized a rehabilitation facility to bill him more than $22,000 for post-surgery care, despite having given his daughter power of attorney when he was diagnosed with dementia. Legal aid from the Senior Law Project helped Rudolf and his daughter explain in court filings that the facility knew of his mental condition and never should have asked him to sign the authorization. A judge dismissed the case before the scheduled hearing, relieving Rudolf and his daughter of considerable stress and anxiety, and potentially saving their home and life savings from being seized to pay the debt.
New Hampshire Legal Assistance is a non-profit civil legal aid law firm that represents low-income and elderly clients in cases impacting their basic needs – including housing, subsistence income, and safety from domestic abuse. NHLA has offices in Berlin, Claremont, Concord, Manchester and Portsmouth. For more information about New Hampshire Legal Assistance, please contact Executive Director Sarah Mattson Dustin at firstname.lastname@example.org