My library is threatening me with legal action. Can they? Watch

headunderwater
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#1
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Basically, two books were a few months overdue. I took them back a few weeks ago but the library is still demanding payment in the form of £66. They sent me a letter saying I have 7 days to make full payment before they take legal action with something daft like the "debt collectors".

Can they do this? I assumed that if I took the books back I wouldn't have to pay that huge fine, because that price is for if I lost the books which I didn't. I should only have to pay something like £3, right?

Also, something slightly more worrying. My mom (the classic melodramatic) said that if I don't pay they'll "blacklist" me and I won't be able to get a loan for university. Complete crap, right?

Anyway, what shall I do about the fine? I refuse to pay £66 for two books that I gave back.
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Bismarck
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Surely you realized that the books were overdue months ago? What do you think would happen if people started taking books out for months past their due dates at the risk of having to pay "something like 3 pounds"?

If the library takes legal action against you, it will affect your credit rating, which will affect the willingness of private institutions to give you loans/credit. I doubt it will have an effect on loans/grants from the government (or loans/grants backed by the government).
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headunderwater
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(Original post by Bismarck)
Surely you realized that the books were overdue months ago? What do you think would happen if people started taking books out for months past their due dates at the risk of having to pay "something like 3 pounds"?
I was on abroad for quite a while through summer, so it wasn't really top priority. And, to be honest, I completely forgot about them
If the library takes legal action against you, it will affect your credit rating, which will affect the willingness of private institutions to give you loans/credit. I doubt it will have an effect on loans/grants from the government (or loans/grants backed by the government).
Okay, thanks. I think I'll just have to break myself and pay it.
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Boy with The Arab Strap
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I fell out with my university library as they claimed I hadn't returned a book when I had done so and they had lost it. I then had to purchase a replacement book and pay the admin fee as it was an inter-library loan book. Very ******* annoyed about this still.

Anyway, I empathise OP as they can be immovable *****. You should pay the fine owed for being overdue but not a fine for lost books as you have returned them. If they don't accept then consult the Citizen Advice Bureau.
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Diaz89
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Explain to them that you didn't lose the books and you returned them in the end, you'll probably have to pay a fine but £66 is completely disproportionate and I highly doubt that, that's even the total amount of the books combined.
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RBarack
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A few months overdue. And you're complaining about a £66 fine. What if someone else needed the book(s) that you borrowed? Nevermind, a few months overdue is obviously nothing.
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RBarack
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On second thought, £66 does sound excessive. Nevertheless, what you did was very selfish, you should pay the fine, and learn from your mistake.
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headunderwater
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(Original post by RBarack)
On second thought, £66 does sound excessive. Nevertheless, what you did was very selfish, you should pay the fine, and learn from your mistake.
Flog me now.
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Bismarck
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(Original post by 35mm_)
Okay, thanks. I think I'll just have to break myself and pay it.
Admit guilt and try to negotiate the price down to the value of the books (assuming they're worth less than 66 pounds). Acting like a victim will get you nowhere, however.
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King4eva
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lol 66 pound library fine = fail.....imagine you could have used that on a good bottle of moet.
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RBarack
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(Original post by 35mm_)
Flog me now.
As someone has already mentioned, 66 pound fine = FAIL.
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MagicNMedicine
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Wait till you get to uni, uni library fines can be quite punitive. There was a girl on my course who ended up with a fine of nearly £100, she took something from the high demand section (one day return) over the Christmas holidays. They wrote to her asking for it back but she said why should she pay postage, so the fines were something like £95 when she finally got back after a month. SHe said she wasn't going to pay it so they locked her out of the library, in the end she coughed up.

She had little sympathy from people though, taking a high demand book out for the whole Christmas holidays is a major fail.
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Hattie1992
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This isn't really helpful, but my friend had a £50 fine and she went to return the books and pay the fine , but the library is doing this thing for a week where if you return any overdue books, your fines are wiped out! Obviously it's to encourage people to bring back their books, so she didn't have to pay her £50 fine! Although, I'm pretty sure that's only happening at Suffolk Libraries. But in your case, maybe you should just pay up and think about all of the free books that you have benefitted for in your life, all thanks to the library! (it makes me feel better when i have to pay the cruddy fines anyway!)
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no_thnx
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(Original post by Hattie1992)
This isn't really helpful, but my friend had a £50 fine and she went to return the books and pay the fine , but the library is doing this thing for a week where if you return any overdue books, your fines are wiped out! Obviously it's to encourage people to bring back their books, so she didn't have to pay her £50 fine! Although, I'm pretty sure that's only happening at Suffolk Libraries. But in your case, maybe you should just pay up and think about all of the free books that you have benefitted for in your life, all thanks to the library! (it makes me feel better when i have to pay the cruddy fines anyway!)
I also took something from high demand section and couldn't find it and they told i have to pay 50 quid as they assumed it was lost.
Finally i found this book and just brought it to the library without paying the fine it was all ok..
So it's not only Suffolk,happens in some other libraries as well.
OP is just unlucky :P

OP,ask them what's their reason behind asking you to pay 60 (i take it's the price of the books as if they were lost),assuming that you have brought them back.
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MichaelG
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#15
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if you don't like it, buy your books instead?
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Freud
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#16
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I don't see what's so difficult about returning library books on time
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flowermaster91
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Just pay up and remember next time to return the books on time. There was no point keeping it for 2 months when you could have just of renewed it :p:
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thunder_chunky
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#18
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Meh, it's sixty-six quid. Pay it and move on. You live and learn.
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Red_Sky
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#19
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Yeah try and negotiate them down but still cough up OP. If they took you to a small claims court then you could get a county court judgement against you and then you would have to pay court fees in excess of 100 and also be on a credit blacklist.
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matrix15
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Lol, I was a month late with a book and got a £1.00 fine! I think you got shafted by the system there.
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