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Returned Checks and Electronic Checks, ACH and EFTs

Directive Statement

When a check is returned by the bank for any reason the Cashier’s Office will charge the responsible department for the amount of the check and forward the returned check to the appropriate department.  Return payment charges should be assessed by the department and payment to satisfy must be in the form of a cashier’s check or money order.

Each department will establish and maintain procedures for the collection of returned checks to include, but not be limited to, those outlined in this directive.  The University Controller must approve any exceptions.

Reason for Directive

To comply with University of Florida Regulation 3.0022, Bill Paying, Returned Check and Electronic Transfer Items Service Charges.

Who Must Comply?

All University departments.

Procedures

  1. The bank will notify the Cashier’s Office of a returned check
  2. The Cashier’s Office will charge the responsible department for the amount of the check and forward the returned check to that department
  3. When a payment is returned, the following charges must be assessed per UF Regulation 3.0022:
    • $25 if the payment is $50 or less
    • $30 if the payment is greater than $50 but less than $300
    • $40 if the payment is greater than $300
  4. Payment to satisfy the returned payment amount and applicable returned payment charge must be in the form of a cashier’s check or money order
    • Personal check, credit card, debit card, or cash will not be accepted
  5. If the electronic check/ACH/EFT is returned due to an unintentional processing error by the payer, such as entering an incorrect bank account number, the following return payment charges should be assessed:
    • No charge if the payment is less than $10
    • $10 if the electronic check/ACH/EFT payment of $10 or more was returned

The payment to satisfy in this situation is not required to be in the form of a cashier’s check or money order.

Student Returned Items

Payments for tuition or non-tuition charges

If the returned payment was to pay student tuition or non-tuition charges in the Student Financial System (SFS) review the steps in the Bursar Returned Payments for more information.

Payments for other charges

If the returned payment was from a student for charges other than tuition or non-tuition charges in the SFS, the Cashier’s Office will reverse the accounting entry and return the check to the department.  In this case the department will either:

  1. Place the total debt (returned check amount and the returned payment charge) in the SFS, or
  2. Begin collection activities itself

For all departments choosing to begin collection activities themselves, it is the responsibility of the department to begin collection activities immediately.  If the department does not place the steps in the SFS, the steps below in “Collection Activities” should be followed.

Collection Activities

Each department will establish and maintain procedures for the collection of returned checks to include, but not be limited to, those outlined below.  The University Controller must approve any exception to this directive.

  1. Send a certified letter of notification to the issuer of the returned check within (7) days of the department’s receipt of the returned check
  2. The certified letter will include notification of the assessment of a returned check charge, based on the amounts above, and demand immediate payment by cashier’s check or money order
  3. If the department’s collection efforts have failed:
    • Non-employees: Sent to an external billing service and collection agency if the returned check and returned check charge total greater than $100 (collection cost may be assessed as well)
    • Employees: Bursar will help you begin the Payroll Deduction Set-Off procedures for university employees for any amount of the returned check. Contact the Bursar, Collections Unit at 352-392-0766 for questions and assistance
  4. If the total check, including returned check charges, is less than $100, and collection activities are unsuccessful, then the department should include the check in the Annual Bad Debt Write-Off

Definitions

EFT

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) is a system of transferring money from one bank account directly to another without any paper money changing hands. [Back to Top]

ACH

Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments are electronic payments made through the Electronic Clearing House Network.  Funds move from one bank account to another with the help of an intermediary that routes funds to the final destination. [Back to Top]

Last Reviewed

05/01/2020: reviewed content

Resources

University of Florida Regulation 3.0022

Toolkits

UF HR Toolkit – Deposits

Contacts

Treasury Management: (352) 392-9057

Bursar Collections Unit: (352) 392-0766

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