“I couldn’t imagine that it was true that I owed them money,” Hinton said.
“The only way I could defend against this charge is to present them with the receipt for a class that I took 40 years ago.”
The Setoff Debt Collection Act makes it legal for the University to recoup what it said Hinton owed through his tax return.
The period of time during which creditors can legally collect outstanding debts does not apply to the University under the act.
In a letter, the University gave Hinton 30 days to request a hearing to challenge the charge.
Kelly-Scholle said that most alumni and students pay debt charges rather than appealing.
Hinton did not have a receipt for the classes and requested a hearing, which was held Oct. 11. Hinton said a hearing officer from University Counsel decided to reimburse Hinton.
Hinton said Gary Maynard, the assistant University cashier, represented UNC at Hinton’s appeal. Maynard refused to comment on the case.
The Daily Tar Heel submitted a public records request for documents related to Hinton’s hearing to University spokesman Mike McFarland.
McFarland said the documents are unlikely to be considered public record based on the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which protects students’ educational records.
Hinton said the University’s procedure of collecting outstanding debts will alienate donors.
He said he has talked with more than 30 UNC alumni who told him they will no longer donate money to the University.
“I’ll never be so cuckoo now that I leave them any money,” he said. “It’s going to lose the University a lot of money.”
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