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No interest was charged

Q: Why doesn't the bill show an interest charge?

A: There are several possible causes, which we can summarize as follows:

  1. There is no overdue balance.
  2. The matter is not set to charge interest, or the matter uses the standard setting and the standard setting does not specify an interest charge, or the Annual Percentage Rate is zero.
  3. The "Next Late Charge After" date hasn't arrived yet.

Now we will explain each of these possibilities in detail.  Pick one matter that has this problem and view or print a prebill (Bills > Prebills).

First, look at the Aged Balance section of the prebill.  If the only amounts due appear in the Current column, then there won't be any interest charges, because no part of the balance is overdue.

RTG Bills calculates the aged amounts by comparing the Bill Date to the current date.  So you will never see any interest charges until at least 30 days have passed since the Bill Date.

This means, for example, that if you print a bill on February 1 and another bill on March 1, new charges on the February bill will not be overdue, because they are not yet more than 30 days old.  You could wait a few days and then print a bill with interest charges.  (We are assuming here that the Bill Date is the date you printed the bill.  As explained below, RTG Bills has an option to use the fee/expense cutoff date instead.)

Let's assume there are numbers in the other columns, and that you want to charge interest for amounts due over 30 days.

Next, look at the Billing Instructions section of the prebill.  Find the Late Charge Type, which displays the setting for this matter.  Here are the possible settings:

  1. No late payment charges: That would explain why you don't see any late payment charges.  Change this setting.
  2. Unpaid over 30|60|90 days: Each of these settings will charge interest if the balance due is aged over 30 (or 60 or 90) days.  Compare the setting to the Aged Balance section.  For example, if the setting is "Unpaid over 60 days", then interest is charged only if there are amounts in the "61-90" or "Over 90" columns.
  3. Use standard setting: Check the standard setting under Setup > Other > Late Charges.  See how many days overdue the balance must be.  Make sure the Annual Percentage Rate is not zero.  If it says No late payment charges then you have found the problem.  Either change the standard setting or change the matter's setting so it doesn't use the standard setting.

If the setting for the matter is wrong, change it here: Edit > Matters > Edit > Codes.  If the settings are correct, make sure the Annual Percentage Rate is not zero.

Let's assume that everything so far seems correct.  There is one more item to check: "Next Late Charge After".  You cannot charge interest again until this date.  If the date is in the past, or if it says Any date, then it won't stop you from charging interest.

However, if there is no interest charge because the "Next Late Charge After" date hasn't arrived, you will have to wait until then to charge interest on this matter.

At this point, if you still don't understand why no interest was charged, most likely you missed something earlier.  Send a copy of the prebill to RTG and we'll see if we can help you figure out what is wrong.

More about the "Next Late Charge After" date

The purpose of the "Next Late Charge After" date is to keep RTG Bills from charging interest twice in the same month.  The interest calculation charges one-twelfth of the Annual Percentage Rate each time, so it should only be done once each month.

When you print a bill, RTG Bills calculates a Due Date for that bill.  (The Due Date will appear on the bill if you have chosen that option in the bill format.)  If the bill shows an interest charge, then the "Next Late Charge After" date is set to the Due Date.  In other words, you can't charge interest again until after the Due Date of a bill that charges interest.

Suppose you print a bill on March 1 that includes an interest charge on an unpaid balance.  Maybe you would like to print another bill on March 15.  It should not show any new interest charges, because you have already charged interest this month.  RTG Bills will allow you to print another bill, but it will not charge interest, because the "Next Late Charge After" date has not yet passed.

More about the Due Date

For versions of RTG Bills prior to Version 2.11, the Due Date is either the end of the month, or the Bill Date plus the minimum number of days (set in Setup > Other > Late Charges), whichever is later.  Let's suppose the minimum number of days is set to the typical value of 25 days.  If you print a bill on March 1, the Due Date is March 31 (the end of the month).  However, if you print a bill on March 15, that only leaves 16 days until the end of the month.  Then the Due Date would be 25 days after March 15, which is April 9.

Starting with RTG Bills Version 2.11, the Due Date is always the Bill Date plus the "Number of days between Bill Date and Due Date" entered in Setup > Other > Late Charges.

More about the Bill Date

Originally, the Bill Date was simply the date that you printed the bill.  We reasoned that a client couldn't pay the bill until you printed it and sent it to them, so the age of the charges should be calculated from that point.

What if you printed the bills a few days late one month, but on time the next month?  No interest would be charged on the unpaid balance, because 30 days would not have elapsed.

To avoid this, we allow the aging to start on the fee/expense cutoff date, typically the last day of the month, not a few days later when the bill is printed. We added that option on the Setup > Other > Firm tab ("Use fee/expense cutoff date as Bill Date").  If you use the fee/expense cutoff date as the Bill Date, and the cutoff date is the last day of the month, you can always charge interest on last month's unpaid balance - except possibly after February, because it is a short month.  Still, if you wait a few days into March to print the February bills, you can get interest charges in February as well.