Four-Month Bill

Four-Month Bill

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Collecting on Four-Month Bills


Libraries should make every effort to retrieve outstanding items when the sixty (60) day bill is issued to the patron. Libraries may refuse to accept items returned ninety (90) days after the due date (which is the same as 3 months overdue, and thirty (30) days after the sixty (60) day bill).

A four-month bill should be issued no later than seven (7) months after an item’s due date and is subject to immediate payment. If the owning library fails to submit the bill within seven (7) months, it forfeits the claim for reimbursement.


Individual libraries should follow this policy for their own materials.



No refunds will be made on four-month bills.


To alert staff that items are ninety (90) days overdue, an item block will pop up before the Lost Item dialog box. This block will apply to all items ninety (90) days overdue.

Owning libraries should use the Lost Items – 4 Month Bills report to issue Four Month Bills to home libraries of patrons with outstanding materials. Libraries should run this report on a monthly basis.

If an item is not returned to it’s owning library after four (4) months, or is damaged beyond reasonable use, the following procedure is recommended:

  • The owning library should keep a record of the transaction until the item is paid for or returned.
  • The owning library should send a BCCLS bill form (link) to the patron’s home library once it is notified that the item is four (4) months overdue.
  • Library to library billing will be based on the replacement cost or list price if the list price appears in the item record.
  • The patron’s library has thirty (30) days from receipt of this bill to pay the replacement cost. FAILURE TO DO SO WILL RESULT IN A LETTER FROM THE BCCLS EXECUTIVE BOARD TO THE PATRON’S LIBRARY’S BOARD OF TRUSTEES REQUESTING IMMEDIATE PAYMENT. Libraries may complete the BCCLS Support Form using the 4 Month Bill (under problem type) to report non-compliant libraries.
  • The patron’s library MUST submit a copy of the bill with the payment check.
  • The patron’s library MUST mark the item paid in the patron’s account, add a manual fine for the cost of the item, and place notes on the patron’s record reflecting the reason for the manual fine.
  • The owning library MUST then mark the item Withdrawn or Being Repaired.

**Note: To mark a lost item as withdrawn, you must first check in the item. Upon check in, Polaris will prompt you to choose an action for the replacement/processing/overdue charges. For Lost and Paid items, choose “Leave as is” for the replacement, processing fees, and overdue charges. Manage patron changes from the patron’s account and add notes as necessary. After the check in process is complete, change the item status to Withdrawn.