Collection agencies may deal with library dues

Posted: 9:03 PM, Jan 15, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-18 12:15:31-05

A new bill being considered in Wisconsin would make overdue library items that exceed $50 go directly to a collection agency. NBC26 explains why the state is turning a page towards a new way of getting their products back.

While a letter or an email from the library might be enough of a reminder for some to return their overdue books, a letter from a collection agency might be a more powerful reminder.

Returning your books or DVD's' on time is part of the game you play when utilizing a public library. If you don't the fee's add up, at a typical rate of 25-cents a day.

"Several times over. I had a fine of 25 dollars," says Kristopher Grams of Green Bay.

Here in Green Bay collection agencies are used to collect on overdue fines that exceed fifty dollars. And if a newly proposed bill goes through more and more counties would likely follow suit.

"The library has used a collection agency for some time now but the law as it was presented was kind of not clear," says Susan Lagerman the Brown County Library Program Manager.

What is clear is that once a collection agency is used, it's a bit more serious than dealing with your librarian.

"If you have credit, that can definitely get ruined if a collection agency can do that," adds Grams.

The only information made available to the creditor would be your name, address and the fine amount. But most libraries admit it’s less about the collection of money and really about getting the product replaced or put back on the shelf.

"I mean the library did pay for the product," says Demarcus Williams of De Pere. 

Right now about one percent, or 13-hundred Brown county library card holders have had their fines make their way to a collection agency.