Friday, June 05, 2020

Bad Check Collection/Prosecution

One method of initiating a bad check collection is to make a report to the Haskell County Sheriff. This must be done for any check of $1000.00 or more, making it a felony; however, if you have received a misdemeanor-level check, you may follow the process below.

Prior to accepting a bad check for collection, the payee must send a letter to the person who signed the check, via certified, return-receipt mail. This letter must state the check number, the amount of the check, and why the check was returned. Also, this letter must advise the check writer that he/she has 7 days to make the check good (thus, this is referred to as the "7-day letter"). Once the payee has received the return-receipt card and 7 days have passed, or the letter is returned for whatever reason, he/she can then turn the check over to the County Attorney for collection.

A letter is again sent to the individual who signed the check. The individual is given approximately 14 days to respond to the letter. If the letter is returned, or if it has been delivered and no response has been received, the County Attorney may file a criminal complaint, and he/she has the discretion of asking for either a summons or warrant to be issued for the defendant to appear before the Court. Once a criminal action is filed, the defendant will then be assessed court costs and a service charge on each check.

If the payee desires to have the bad check collected, he/she should bring a copy of the "7-day" letter, the returned letter or the return-receipt card, and the original check to the County Attorney's office. A brief affidavit will need to be filled out. There is no charge for this service

Please keep in mind that not all cases can or will be prosecuted, depending upon the information provided. You are welcome to seek the return of unused case materials to assist you in civil actions.

If you have questions regarding the process or need assistance in formatting requirements, please call the Assistant to the County Attorney.