These Borrowed Property guidelines are provided for those University of Alabama (UA) departments authorized by Student Account Services (SAS) to loan UA property to enrolled students. Departments that want to place charges on student accounts when borrowed property is not returned must follow these steps and receive approval from Student Account Services in advance of loaning property. Failure to obtain approval by SAS may result in the inability to charge students for damaged or missing property.
UA departments authorized to loan UA property to enrolled and confirmed students must establish borrowed property policies, procedures, forms, and records for the issuance and return of UA property. It is the department’s responsibility to develop and implement policies and procedures that will assure that:
- the student is adequately informed of his/her responsibility at the point of property checkout, and of the required return date;
- the student is informed that failure to return UA property, or to return said property in a damaged condition may result in charges to the student’s account, and that if unpaid may stop subsequent enrollment, graduation, and transcript issuance. The student may also incur additional late charges, attorney’s fees, and other costs and charges necessary for the collection of amounts due;
- the student is informed of the replacement cost value which will constitute the charge to the student’s account if the property is not returned or not returned in the agreed upon condition;
- the department has records that will identify all issued property (check–out), a process to assure that the property is returned in a timely manner (follow-up), and a check-in process when the item is returned; and
- the student is notified in writing by the issuing department immediately after the property is not returned on or before the specified return date.
The Borrowed Property Agreement
A Borrowed Property Agreement form must be developed and must include the following elements:
- A list of the property being loaned, including any specific identifying information such as serial numbers, model information, etc.
- Identifying and contact information for the enrolled student borrower (e.g., name, CWID, Crimson email address, and mailing address)
- Date property is checked out
- Date property is to be returned
- Condition in which property is to be returned, normal wear and tear excluded
- Consequences for failure to return the listed property (i.e. late return fees, replacement costs, repair costs, identification of replacement costs for the items available for loan, and any related components.) Replacement /repair costs must be listed and must be reviewed and updated at least annually for accuracy.
- A signature line for the student to acknowledge understanding the responsibilities spelled out in the document.
- A statement that “Failure to return the borrowed property listed below by the specified due date may result in a transfer of the charges to the undersigned student’s account maintained by SAS. This action will prevent subsequent registration, graduation, and transcript issuance until the matter is cleared. The amount is also subject to attorney’s fees, and other costs and charges necessary for the collection of any amounts not paid when due.”
- Date property is checked back in (the return process)
- Condition in which the property is returned
- Signature of the person receiving the returned property
Sample forms can be provided by SAS to assist with the form development process. Each situation may be a little different, so examples are general guidance only. It may be necessary to include other elements in the agreement to fit each department’s needs. SAS must review and approve final documents to be used.
Communication to the Student
A written reminder to the student prior to the due date is recommended. Once late, non-returned property notifications should be sent immediately by letter and email (if the department wishes to deliver a 2nd method of communication) once the due date has passed. This late notice should allow a short return period extension (general 3-5 days).
A standard letter and email must also be developed for property not returned by the due date.
Email notifications must be sent to the student’s Crimson email account as it is the official email account for UA.
The Non-Returned Property Notification letter and email (if additional communication is done) should include the following elements:
- specific identification of the items borrowed;
- the agreed upon due date for return of the identified property;
- any departmental late return fees that will result or have resulted for failure to return the property on time;
- any replacement for failure to return the identified property by a designated extension of time to return (usually 3 to 5 days past the date of notification that the due date has passed); and
- a statement that “Failure to return the identified property by the designated date will result in a transfer of the identified charges to the student’s account maintained by SAS. This action will prevent subsequent registration, graduation, and transcript issuance until this matter is cleared. The amount is also subject to monthly late fees, referral to a collection agency, collection fees, attorney’s fees and other costs and charges necessary for the collection of any amounts not paid when due.”
- Sample documents (link) are provided to assist you with development of the communications.
Documentation of notification(s) provided, dates of notification(s), and the name of the UA employee who sent the notice(s) should be retained. This information may be documented in a designated section of the borrowing agreement.
Review and Approval
Once these policies, procedures and forms are developed, request a review from SAS to ensure that requirements are met. This review will help ensure that the appropriate steps are in place to allow transactions related to non-return of property to be recorded on the student’s account for collection.
Once authorized, the department can begin loaning property.
Actions by the Department Upon Failure to Return Property
Once all late notifications have been sent and all timelines for returning the identified property have passed, the departmental coordinator for the borrowed property should notify SAS that the property has not been returned and that a charge needs to be applied to the student account. This action must occur immediately after the extended due date has past. Timeliness is very important to being able to regain possession of property or to collect fees related to un-returned or damaged property.
The first time the non-returned property situation occurs, the department should send an email to SAS, requesting the setup of a charge code to be used on the student accounts. In this request, the department should also provide the FOAP to be used to deposit the funds into the specific departmental account and suggest a description for this charge code which will clarify for the student the nature of the charge; for example, Non-Returned Equipment – Art Dept. If a late return fee or a repair charge is addressed in the approval forms, a charge code with a description and a FOAP will also need to be requested and setup.
Once the code has been established, SAS will provide the code(s) that will be included on the request to charge a specific student each time.
The departmental coordinator should send the request to charge a specific student and include the charge code, the amount, the student’s name and the CWID to SAS. As soon as the charge is recorded, the income will be recorded to the FOAP associated with the charge code.
The department also needs to consider what they want to do if the item(s) are returned after the charge has been recorded on the student’s account. If the department decides to accept the returned property and to give the student full or partial credit, then an email needs to be sent to SAS with the same information as the original request to charge with instructions to credit a specified amount. Once recorded, the credit amount will be removed from the department’s income account.
- Director, Kristy Pritchett: email@example.com
- Assoc. Director, Janice Winters: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Assistant Director, Erika Manora-Frazier: email@example.com