What is the minimum account balance required to maintain a trust account?

1

The Florida Bar does not require a minimum balance on your Trust account.  That is something that your bank may require.

At the end of the first paragraph of Chapter 5-1 of the Rules, there is authorization for the firm to maintain a small amount of firm money in the trust account to cover administrative fees charged by the bank to the account.  From that “Firm Admin Money” ledger you would pay service charges, check printing costs, wire transfer fees, etc, (i.e. those fees the firm must pay) if the bank charged these to the IOTA account.  If you did not have firm money in the account and a charge was made by the bank to the Trust, you would be “using other people’s money” to pay that charge which would be a violation.

The rule does not define how much is “a small amount of firm money.”

Participation by the bank in the IOTA program is voluntary, and neither the Florida Bar Foundation nor The Florida Bar has any leverage over bank policies.

If you are unhappy with a minimum balance requirement or service charge against your IOTA, then you may want to talk directly with the local bank manager to see if those can be waived, or shop around for a more accommodating bank.

If you do close your IOTA trust account, please call the Florida Bar Foundation (800) 541-2195 and report the closing to the IOTA Operations Manager.