AT NO COST TO YOU, GET FUNDING FOR Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois WHEN YOU: Buy a Home / Sell a Home / Lease Commercial Property
Bolster Legal Aid Services with Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois When Selling, Purchasing & Leasing
The Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois (LTF) is the largest contributor of funds to legal aid organizations that serve low-income communities across the state. As a member of Investing In Communities®, LTF can benefit from most brokered real estate transactions, including purchases, sales, and commercial leases. $11,376 has already been raised. When supporters use this platform, at no cost to themselves, LTF can provide necessary funding to nonprofit organizations offering legal aid services across Illinois.
Founded in 1983 as a nonprofit foundation, LTF meets an important need for low-income individuals who need assistance with civil law. To help provide access to legal aid, LTF makes grants using the interest on lawyers trust accounts. Referred to as IOLTA accounts, Illinois law requires attorneys to use these interest-bearing trust accounts when holding client funds. Then LTF applies the interest to make legal aid grants and facilitate access to attorney services.
In 2016 alone, Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois contributions spurred access to free legal services across 140,000 different cases. This was made possible by emphasizing the core programs and services described in the following sections.
The LTF Grants program helps ensure that low-income individuals across Illinois have the benefit of a legal safety net. These grants represent approximately one out of every six dollars spent on free legal services from Illinois nonprofit organizations. With this level of significant funding, tens of thousands of clients can receive free legal services in Illinois each year.
Legal-services nonprofits can apply for these grants to:
- Establish a corporate presence as an Illinois nonprofit organization;
- Secure federal tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service;
- Deliver free legal services to low-income clients in matters of civil law;
- Have been in existence for at least two years before applying for a grant; and
- Have at least one full-time staff attorney who has been licensed for at least three years.
The LTF legal aid program exists to provide widespread access to attorney representation. Unlike criminal law, where every person has a constitutional right to have a lawyer, there is no such guarantee in civil law cases. To address this gap, LTF provides grants to various nonprofit organizations to establish a legal safety net for Illinois residents.
Without the assistance of legal aid organizations, many Illinois residents would not be able to pay for an attorney to help with a variety of civil law matters, including:
- Consumer Law — Bankruptcy, Collections, Repossessions, and Utilities cases;
- Family Law — Child Custody, Divorce, Domestic Violence, and Guardianship cases;
- Housing Law — Evictions, Foreclosure, and Habitability cases;
- Immigration Law — Asylum, Citizenship, and Family Reunification cases; and
- Public Benefits Law — Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition, Supplemental Security Income, and Temporary Assistance cases.
LTF provides IOLTA consulting services to both lawyers and financial institutions. Under Illinois law, lawyers must use IOLTA accounts to safeguard any client funds in their possession. For more than 400 financial institutions across Illinois, administering IOLTA accounts is a necessary feature to attract attorney and law firm clients. For these parties, LTF acts as a subject matter expert by delivering valuable information on IOLTA rules and regulations.
Turn Regular Real Estate Deals into Funding for Illinois Legal Aid
At no cost to themselves, anyone who cares about providing legal aid to underserved communities can turn virtually any brokered real estate transaction into funding for the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois. For example, the purchase or sale of a $300,000 home can result in about $1,300 of free funding. Support the mission of the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois by using IIC’s free platform to make arrangements with an agent you already have in mind. Or use IIC to find and choose among real estate agents that are appropriate for the specifics of your residential or commercial real estate needs. Ready to start?
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