The service charge for returned payment collection is $25.00 per item — regardless of the amount of the check, or the reason that it was returned. If you are a current student, you can review your ZOT Account for returned check charges. Please pay all returned check charges in full immediately, as penalties are imposed as soon as these items are posted.
Overview of the Returned Check Billing Process
Your bank will notify you when it has returned your check or electronic payment and may charge bank penalties for each failed attempt to deposit. If you are a current student, you are responsible for monitoring the Current Account view of your ZOT Account for returned check charges. If you are not a student, the Central Cashier issues a paper invoice to you by mail, typically to the address printed on the check.
Regardless of the method of notification, you are responsible for a returned check and are subject to the resultant penalties, even if the check was written on your behalf by a third party (such as a parent). When a returned check invoice is issued, a financial hold is placed immediately on your student records. This hold prohibits registration, issuing transcripts and diplomas, receipt of financial aid, and other services until the returned check and service charges are settled.
A returned check invoice is posted for the original check amount plus the $25.00 returned check service charge. If the check was applied to Registration Fees, an additional $50.00 Late Registration Fee may be included. Invoices are posted to your ZOT Account (current students) or the Accounts Receivable/Collections (AR/C) system (non-students). You are expected to pay returned check invoices promptly, typically with certified funds.
Charges which are not paid within the billing cycle are subject to cumulative late charges, which are strictly enforced with regard to returned check invoices. A financial hold remains on your student records until you redeem a returned check and settle all associated charges. We strongly advise you to deal with returned check charges as soon as they are posted, so the balance due does not grow beyond your capacity to pay.
Campus policies do not allow formal payment arrangements for returned check invoices. However, if you are unable to pay these debts in full as required, you should make payments on your account as often as you can manage. The longer it takes to retire your returned check invoices, the longer your student records will remain on hold. Also, keep in mind that late payment charges will be assessed on unpaid balances.
Charges and Penalties
A dishonored check, regardless of the reason for return, is subject to the $25.00 service charge per item. Note that this charge also applies to “e-check” payments returned from the CASHNet online payment service. In addition to the service charge, a returned check written to pay for registration fees may be assessed the late registration fee, even if you paid in installments with the PACE Plan.
As soon as the returned check invoice is posted to your ZOT Account, a hold is placed immediately on your student records, preventing you from obtaining transcripts, financial aid disbursements, and other student services. If the returned check invoice is not settled by the posted due date, it becomes past-due. ZOT Late charges may accumulate on your account at the rate of $20.00 per month.
Your bank also may levy charges and/or assess penalties, which are separate from those imposed by the campus. UCI has no control over your bank’s actions. Review your bank’s web site for its returned check policies and procedures. Notify your bank immediately if you are concerned about an error. Do not expect UCI to contact your bank or otherwise intercede on your behalf.
Suspension of Check-Writing Privileges
If you have two or more returned checks, your check-writing privileges may be suspended. You then are restricted to paying with certified funds, which means that any payment at the Central Cashier may be requested in the form of a cashier’s check, money order, or cash.
Two or more returned checks on file may result in a six-month suspension of your check-writing privileges; three or more returned checks corresponds to a two-year suspension. Upon receipt of a written appeal, check-writing privileges may be restored at the discretion of the Central Cashier. Nevertheless, any department at UCI may request payment in the form of a cashier’s check, money order, or cash — for any reason, at any time. For example, Campus Billing Services may require former students to clear outstanding debts with certified funds before releasing transcripts.
Do not stop payment on your check if you decide not to attend, wish to dispute charges, or no longer want goods or services provided by UCI. Your bank probably will charge a service fee, in addition to penalties imposed by UCI. Stopping payment guarantees that your check will be returned, but does not cancel your financial obligation. A stopped payment is treated the same as any other returned check, with at least a $25.00 service charge and a hold on your student records.
If you decide to leave UCI after paying registration fees, officially withdrawing is only way to receive any refund that may be due to you. Submit your withdrawal paperwork as directed on the Registrar’s web page, as soon as you know that you will not attend. The amount of a withdrawal refund decreases substantially as the quarter progresses. By simply stopping payment on your check, you will be responsible for the full amount of your fees, plus penalties.
Notify Campus Billing Services, in writing, regarding disputed charges. Stopping payment on your check is not the same as written notification, and only adds to the charges in your account. Also, remember that your account representative may offer a payment arrangement for a disputed invoice, but not for the returned check that results if you decide to stop payment in protest. You’ll also find that late charges are strictly enforced for stopped payments, because there’s no way to argue you didn’t know the check would be returned.
Checks Written by Third Parties
If the check written by a relative, friend or other third party on your behalf is returned, you may be responsible for the resultant invoice, with charges and penalties, even if the check wasn’t from your bank account. As part of your student account, the returned check invoice generates a hold that prevents access to your student records, including transcripts and future registration.
You are responsible for notifying third parties about returned check charges billed to your student account. In addition, you are required to redeem the check, pay all applicable charges, and deal with any penalties. If the check was reported as lost/stolen, or was returned due to a bank error, you must ensure that the Central Cashier receives a valid bank letter before service charges may be canceled.