In an effort to force patrons to return their materials on time, a library in Michigan has partnered with a debt collection agency. This company will now help Romulus Public Library recover materials and collect late fees. Beginning April 1, 2013, any accounts that have fines of $25 or more will be transferred to the collection agency.
If materials are overdue by a week, then the library will merely send out a notice. If they are a month overdue, then the library will send another notice, which will include fines and replacement charges. Once materials are 51 days past due and the account is over $25, then the patron's account will be transferred to the collection. At this time, a $10 service is automatically added to the patron's account. The collection agency will then contact the library patron to let them know that the account has been forwarded to the collectors, and inform them of the charges.
If the items are still not returned by the individual, then the collection agency will continue to contact that person for the next four months. After that, the account will proceed to the next stage. Once the materials are 171 days past their due date, then the collection agency will report the patron to a credit reporting agency, which could affect the patron's credit rating for 7 years. This collection agency, which has international presence, has already partnered with over 1,000 libraries, including the Los Angeles Central Library.
Those who are being continually pressured by a debt collection agency for library debts or other dues should get advice from a Los Angeles civil litigation lawyer at The Mirkhan Law Firm. We are proud to provide each of our clients with personalized attention, so that their best interests are met. For more information, call our office!