Mandatory Overdraft Notification

Pennsylvania Rule of Disciplinary Enforcement 221 requires an attorney to maintain the attorney's trust account at an approved financial institution. The attorney is also required to identify to the financial institution the trust account as being subject to the mandatory overdraft notification.

Rule 221 requires the approved financial institution to report the occurrence of an overdraft involving an attorney trust account to the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security within 5 banking days of the overdraft. The overdraft must be reported even if the financial institution chooses to pay the item that has been presented against insufficient funds.

The Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security does the initial inquiry regarding the overdraft. The Fund will mail a letter to the attorney/law firm and request a written explanation, which explanation must be completed and supported by appropriate documentation. The documentation required will include, but may not be limited to:

  • Client ledgers for all client funds involved in the explanation;
  • A copy of the dated, receipted deposit slip for the deposit made to correct the overdrawn account and an explanation as to the source of the funds which are deposited to correct the overdrawn account; and
  • Copies of the three most recent bank statements for the account that was overdrawn.

If the explanation is satisfactory, the file will be closed. There will be no disciplinary record regarding the overdraft.

If the explanation is not satisfactory, or should the attorney fail to provide all requested information and/or documentation, the matter will be referred to the appropriate Office of Disciplinary Counsel for possible further inquiry.

The policy and procedures are more fully set forth in the Fund's Rules and Regulations, Regulation 4.