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2.8 Negative Balances on Patron Accounts

Negative balances are sometimes automatically applied to patron accounts due to certain circulation workflows and settings.  For example:

1. A patron loses an item and pays the lost fees in full.

2. The item is later found and returned to the library.

3. Evergreen is set up to void lost fines and reinstate overdue fines to the patron account if the lost item is returned.

4. As a result, a negative balance is applied to the patron’s account.

A new Library Setting called “Do not change fines/fees on zero-balance LOST transaction” has been added to help eliminate the generation of negative balances on patron accounts.  If this new Library Setting is enabled, it will prevent Evergreen from voiding lost fines and reinstating overdue fines to a patron account in the scenario described above.  It will also prevent negative balances due to paid, long overdue materials being returned.

 

Removing negative balances from a patron account

If a negative balance is added to a patron account, the following workflow can be used to remove it

1. Retrieve the patron account and go to the Bills screen.

2. Select the bill with the negative balance, click on Actions for Selected Transactions or right-click on it, and select Add Billing.

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3. A window will pop up that asks “Are you sure you would like to add a billing to bill 1234?” Click Yes.

4. A new window with the Bill Patron Wizard will appear. Select a Billing Type and enter in a positive bill amount for the same amount as the negative balance.  For example, if the negative balance is -$35.00, enter $35.00 for the bill.  Click Submit this Bill.

5. The negative balance will now be canceled out and cleared from the patron account.

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Author: Angela Kilsdonk, Equinox Software