Lake Superior State University
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Section: Business and Support Operations Section Number: 3.7.1
Subject: Accounts Receivable/Collections Procedure Date of Present Issue: 10/12/00
  Date of Previous Issues:
08/82

POLICY:

  1. The first notice of an amount due is the issuance of the University invoice, the signing of a short-term loan note or housing contract. Students who leave University housing will be sent a fee statement immediately upon determining that they have an amount due.

  2. Past due accounts will be sent a past due statement at 30 and 60 days by the department issuing the original invoice. The 60 day notice will state that the account will be turned over to the University's collection office unless it is immediately cleared.

  3. When University departments have exhausted regular means of collections, accounts will be turned over to Business Operations for additional attempts to collect before writing off. Documentation required must include a copy of the original invoice or a list of charges if the charges are from the library or parking office and will include late fees if applicable. Also include any known address information, last good address, when address went bad, Social Security Number, if available and drivers license number, if available.

  4. When an account is received by Business Operations, an accountant will take the following steps:

    1. Gather information to send final notice for all outstanding charges. Examine hold screens on computer system and determine if documentation is needed from additional departments.

      1. If the account is a student account, ensure all charges are placed on the tuition account if not already there.

      2. Send Final Notice to the student or other debtor noting that the account will be turned over to an appropriate external collection agency and collection costs may be charged if arrangements to pay are not made within 15 days if the amount due is more that $50.00 or the debtor has an amount in a collection agency already. Note: If additional charges appeared for an account that has already been turned over to a collection agency, the new final notice should be for the same collection agency. If the debtor has not been previously turned over to a collection agency, determine appropriate agency to use. External Collection agencies are selected as follows:

        1. U.S. accounts where collection costs will be absorbed by the debtor, (contracts signed stating debtor will be responsible for collection costs if account has to be sent to a collection agency) will go to Financial Recoveries as well as U.S. accounts between $50.00 and $99.99, Non-Michigan Residents or no Social Security number available.

        2. U.S. accounts where LSSU absorbs the collection cost should be sent to the State of MI if the amount due is at least $100.00 and a Social Security number is available and the debtor is a Michigan Resident.

        3. All Canadian accounts will go to Credit Bureau (Equifax).

      3. Accounts under $50.00 will be sent a final notice explaining that all University services will be withheld until paid in full. After 30 days with no payment or contact from the borrower, the account will be written off and a registration and transcript hold will be placed on debtor's account stating account was written off.

      4. Accounts over $50.00 will be analyzed each April for write off purposes. Accounts that have had no activity in the previous three months will be recommended for write off.

Miscellaneous:

  1. Where appropriate, contact by telephone will be used during the collection process. The date and discussion will be noted on internal records.

  2. If the debtor responds, the originating department or collection office will make every effort to work out a solution.

  3. If the account is paid off or cleared by other means, the correspondence will be retained for one year.

  4. If the account is written off, all correspondence will be retained in accordance with state and federal regulations.

  5. Legal action may be taken when appropriate with the approval of the Vice President for Business and Financial Operations.

  6. The use of specific collection agencies mentioned in item 2a, b and c above may be changed based on University needs.
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