• Report: #218873

Complaint Review: Sonoma County Library

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  • Submitted: Thu, November 02, 2006
  • Updated: Thu, August 02, 2012

  • Reported By:Santa Rosa California
Sonoma County Library
211 E St Santa Rosa, California U.S.A.
  • Phone: 707-545-0831
  • Web:
  • Category: Library

Sonoma County Library RUINS YOUR CREDIT OVER A LIBRARY BOOK ripoff Santa Rosa California

*Consumer Suggestion: Mind readers we are NOT!

*UPDATE Employee: I hope we can make this right

*UPDATE Employee: I hope we can make this right

*UPDATE Employee: I hope we can make this right

*UPDATE Employee: I hope we can make this right

*Consumer Suggestion: Sorry, RJ, but this is your fault, and blaming others will not fix your credit

*Author of original report: I didn't say I didn't deserve to pay.

*Consumer Comment: First,

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I am so TIRED OF THIS LIBRARY I don't even know where to being.

In 2003 after checking out a couple of books on gardening I found out I had cervical cancer and would subsequently be put through treatments and surgery. Because of financial strain I then had to put my house of up for sale.

Yes, I had two library books. I read a lot. I just forgot about them. I don't EVER remember signing anything to the affect of "if I do not return these books I agree to this going to a COLLECTION AGENCY". I mean for petes sake I've had a library card in Santa Rosa since I was 9 years old!!! 1980!!!

To make a long story short, I'm sure the library DID send me a late notice. With the stress of moving, dealing with medical treatments, etc somehow a couple of library books just lost priority. Until we applied to rent a house that is and found out we had a COLLECTION ACCOUNT opened up against us from UNIQUE NATIONAL COLLECTION. I immediately contacted them and they refused to accept payment OR make any deals regarding removing the negative mark. They said it HAD TO BE DONE through the library.

So I went to my wonderful local library, checkbook in hand, ready to do whatever I had to. (This was two years ago). They accepted my payment and said all they could do was report it as PAID to national collection. I begged with them to please remove it from my credit report as had I known that the consequences would be SO PUNITIVE I never would have checked out a book in the first place. The manager at the time (a female, I can't remember her name) said she would "try".

Well they didn't "try" very hard. It's listed as a paid collection and every time I dispute it, it comes back verified.

This has DECIMATED my credit.

THANK YOU SONOMA COUNTY LIBRARY OF SANTA ROSA FOR SCREWING YOUR LOCAL RESIDENTS OVER A LIBRARY BOOK.

Is this punishment really befitting the crime?

Warning: do not check out books here as god forbid if you're late they'll DESTROY your future homebuying chances.

I feel intense anger every time I even drive near the library. What could have been a fond memory from childhood is ruined.

R.J.
Santa Rosa, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/02/2006 10:54 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Sonoma-County-Library/Santa-Rosa-California-95404/Sonoma-County-Library-RUINS-YOUR-CREDIT-OVER-A-LIBRARY-BOOK-ripoff-Santa-Rosa-California-218873. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 8Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

Mind readers we are NOT!

AUTHOR: Anon. - (United States of America)

Librarians are not mind readers, nor do we know what all the aliments our patrons are afflicted with, pure and simple.  In California, due to budget cuts and severe erosion of governmental support many libraries need their books back to serve the community. 

So the Supervisors and others have encouraged the Library to use the same methods that businesses use to get their books and fines.  The model is not perfect by far, but the only other choice to non-response is to either hire a retired police officer or delegate an active one from the police force to do this thankless job.

I generally found that telephoning people was helpful, but then a certain percentage still did not respond.  And never would.  Until a collection agency showed up on their tail.  Then they howled and claimed we were "unfair."  We were so unfair that we let them deprive others of books for up to five years or more, while we tried all manner of communication to get them back.  We even tracked people through several changes of address to find them.

A Librarian.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

I hope we can make this right

AUTHOR: Sonoma County Library - (U.S.A.)

I feel so distressed about this. I personally have been through life-threatening illnesses a couple of times. I completely understand how the due date of a library book is the last of your worries, when you're wondering whether you'll survive.

Also, I'm not very happy with the collection agency's response that it's up to the library to correct your credit report. I'm not sure we have that ability.

I'm not a manager at the library; I run the web site. If you could find it in your heart to try one more time, would you please go to our web site www.sonomalibrary.org and click on the Feedback link at the bottom of the page, then you will get a form to send an email to the webmaster (me). If you include your full name or your library card number, that should be enough for me to pass the info to someone who might actually be able to do something to solve your issue.

Worst case scenario, the library can't do anything about your credit; but if you send a response through the form mentioned above, at least you know it will go through me and I will do what I can.

With sincere hope that you are healthy again.

Genny, Sonoma County Library web site manager
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#3 UPDATE Employee

I hope we can make this right

AUTHOR: Sonoma County Library - (U.S.A.)

I feel so distressed about this. I personally have been through life-threatening illnesses a couple of times. I completely understand how the due date of a library book is the last of your worries, when you're wondering whether you'll survive.

Also, I'm not very happy with the collection agency's response that it's up to the library to correct your credit report. I'm not sure we have that ability.

I'm not a manager at the library; I run the web site. If you could find it in your heart to try one more time, would you please go to our web site www.sonomalibrary.org and click on the Feedback link at the bottom of the page, then you will get a form to send an email to the webmaster (me). If you include your full name or your library card number, that should be enough for me to pass the info to someone who might actually be able to do something to solve your issue.

Worst case scenario, the library can't do anything about your credit; but if you send a response through the form mentioned above, at least you know it will go through me and I will do what I can.

With sincere hope that you are healthy again.

Genny, Sonoma County Library web site manager
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#4 UPDATE Employee

I hope we can make this right

AUTHOR: Sonoma County Library - (U.S.A.)

I feel so distressed about this. I personally have been through life-threatening illnesses a couple of times. I completely understand how the due date of a library book is the last of your worries, when you're wondering whether you'll survive.

Also, I'm not very happy with the collection agency's response that it's up to the library to correct your credit report. I'm not sure we have that ability.

I'm not a manager at the library; I run the web site. If you could find it in your heart to try one more time, would you please go to our web site www.sonomalibrary.org and click on the Feedback link at the bottom of the page, then you will get a form to send an email to the webmaster (me). If you include your full name or your library card number, that should be enough for me to pass the info to someone who might actually be able to do something to solve your issue.

Worst case scenario, the library can't do anything about your credit; but if you send a response through the form mentioned above, at least you know it will go through me and I will do what I can.

With sincere hope that you are healthy again.

Genny, Sonoma County Library web site manager
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#5 UPDATE Employee

I hope we can make this right

AUTHOR: Sonoma County Library - (U.S.A.)

I feel so distressed about this. I personally have been through life-threatening illnesses a couple of times. I completely understand how the due date of a library book is the last of your worries, when you're wondering whether you'll survive.

Also, I'm not very happy with the collection agency's response that it's up to the library to correct your credit report. I'm not sure we have that ability.

I'm not a manager at the library; I run the web site. If you could find it in your heart to try one more time, would you please go to our web site www.sonomalibrary.org and click on the Feedback link at the bottom of the page, then you will get a form to send an email to the webmaster (me). If you include your full name or your library card number, that should be enough for me to pass the info to someone who might actually be able to do something to solve your issue.

Worst case scenario, the library can't do anything about your credit; but if you send a response through the form mentioned above, at least you know it will go through me and I will do what I can.

With sincere hope that you are healthy again.

Genny, Sonoma County Library web site manager
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Sorry, RJ, but this is your fault, and blaming others will not fix your credit

AUTHOR: Elaine - (U.S.A.)

So if 10,000 people in your community come up with the same excuse "I was sick, I had other things on my mind, I was on medications", whatever, it's ok to indefinately borrow (steal) books? I think it's about time that libraries held their users accountable.

But anyway, if you want to correct your credit report: write a letter of explanation to each of the credit bureaus and have them include your statement in your record. I believe you're allowed a 100-word statement to explain any discrepancies. Any and all current and potential creditors pulling your credit bureau file will see that you had a major illness and that caused you to forget about the book and that despite that, you paid your debt. That will make you look WAYYYY better than you think.

I would check out the three credit bureau's websites on how to file this statement and send the statements certified mail, return receipt requested.

Being angry at the library, and/or angry with yourself or people here at ROR is not going to help you at all. Writing the statement will - I repeat - WILL help you. And after you post that note, then send letters asking the collection bureau to remove the bad notation. Make it a hobby. Once you have the note on your file, keeping a bad report makes them look bad and punitive, not corrective. It's something you can try each and every month!

And...when you get too many books from buying them...donate them!
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#7 Author of original report

I didn't say I didn't deserve to pay.

AUTHOR: R. - (U.S.A.)

Well Robert, if in the future anything ever distracts YOU to the point you forget something as simple as returning a freaking LIBRARY BOOK I hope you understand how out of proportion the punishment is to this "crime".

So I suppose that even though I've had a library card with this library for 23 plus years and have lived in Santa Rosa all my life, having checked out books and--gasp--being late sometimes, yeah, they should assume I'm a crook and have skipped town.

Clearly you think that forgetting a library book is worth ruining someone's credit for 7 years. So now I'm lumped in with people who declare bankruptcy or don't pay their credit cards for 120+days, even though I've always paid my bills on time. My FICO dove one HUNDRED points.

I hope karma hits you bigtime, you're a jerk.

And while I think that yes, paying the fine WAS my fault, I was not told ahead of time that if I went too long that the library would destroy my credit. I NEVER would have checked out a book if I had realized that, only because I DO care about my credit and I KNOW I can be absent minded. In fact, I would bet my life it was NOT on the contract I signed as I was years and years ago and libraries actually cared about people back then! I did some research and a very, very small percentage of people NEVER bring their stuff back so I don't get why this pressing issue requires such harsh retribution.

And I said that I'm sure they sent me notices, because I'm presuming they DID and taking their word on it. But honestly, I don't remember ANYTHING about it as I was moving and had address forwarding, call forwarding and all of that stuff. I do know for a fact I never received a single collection letter as I would have flipped my lid and handled it immediately (as I did when I heard about it on my report).

Be as smug as you want, but illness happens and when you're on medications, recovering from multiples surgeries, trying to sell your house and hoping that you won't DIE because you have 3 young children, yeah, sometimes something falls through the cracks.

Good for you for knowing that you would have been perfect in this situation and I'm sure the government thanks you that you'd prefer to see people knocked out of affordable interest rates to buy homes over a LIBRARY BOOK. Yeah, that makes a LOT of sense.

I take my kids to Barnes & Nobles and Borders now to enjoy books, I will never encourage them to use the public library again, ever and I will never donate funds or volunteer for anything even remotely associated with libraries in this county.

I HATE YOU SONOMA COUNTY LIBRARY AND YOUR IDIOT "MANAGERS" WHO HAVE NO EMPATHY OR ABILITY TO SEE THINGS ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS.
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#8 Consumer Comment

First,

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

I hope that you are now a cancer survivor and have regained your health.

Second, how can the library be at fault. Yes, you are mad about the blemish on your credit report but it is of your own making. How is the library to know you just didn't skip out with the books.

You stated that you are sure the library sent you a late notice. After no response, for whatever reason, I would guess the library had no choice but to send it to collection.

Since it is listed as "a paid collection" its sounds like the library did their part. They reported the outstanding collection as being paid. The fact that it was outstanding to begin with is your own fault.
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