Home > Personal Finance > Man Returns Library Book After 49 Years & Escapes the Fines

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A former University of Dayton student returned an overdue library book earlier this year. In and of itself, that’s nothing newsworthy. What makes this library return special is that he first checked out the book 49 years ago.

James Phillips, who now lives in Minnesota according to the university, mailed the “History of the Crusades” to the university’s Roesch Library along with a note reading:

“Please accept my apologies for the absence of the enclosed book History of the Crusades. I apparently checked it out when I was a freshman student and somehow it got misplaced all these years.”

Phillips reportedly told the university he borrowed the book in 1967, but left school and joined the U.S. Marines.

The library, coincidentally, had no record of the missing book, the university reported, and plans to put the book back into circulation. University spokeswoman Cilla Shindell said the university has no plans to charge Phillips a fine. The university did, however, calculate what the fine would be when posting the story on its website. Using the 1967 fine rate of 2 cents per day, it would come out to $350.

Libraries don’t report directly to credit reporting agencies. However, some libraries will turn over unpaid balances to collection agencies, which in turn may report those balances to the major credit bureaus.

A collection account can lower your credit score by 25, 50 or even 100 points or more when it shows up on your credit report. Even worse, it can remain on your credit report for up to seven years plus 180 days from the date the bill was due to the original creditor, which means it can affect your credit scores for years to come. (You can get a free credit report summary every month on Credit.com to see the major factors impacting your scores.)

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