Bad Checks Division
How does the Warren County Attorney's Office collect your check?
How does the Warren County Attorney’s Office collect your check?
Once a check is brought to us for collection, it is assigned a file number and a copy is made for your records; this office retains the original check. Information is entered into our computer system and a letter is sent to the check writer. This letter states that if the check and fees, are not paid within 10 days criminal prosecution will begin.
If payment is not received in the 10-day period, this office will prepare a criminal complaint for you to sign. This officially enters the check into the court system. The complaint, along with a court summons or an arrest warrant, is issued to the Sheriff’s Office or local law enforcement to be served to the check writer. Once served, a court date is set. Because law enforcement requires two identifiers on the check (e.g., operators license, date of birth social security) for service of legal documents, this office requires two identifiers on every check.
How can you protect your business from cold checks?
1. Identification, identification, identification!
2. Always ask for official photo identification; (e.g., a license). Compare the official photo with the person presenting the check. Write down pertinent information: correct address, birth date, operator’s license number, phone number.
3. Never accept a counter check. Make sure the check has an imprinted address consistent with that on the identification. Also note if there is a date on the check that the account was opened.
4. Compare the signature on the identification to that of the check writer.
5. Never accept a check with only a imprinted post office box number as the address. (Write the address on the ID) People do not live at post office boxes, legal papers can not be served at a post office box.
6. If you have reservations about accepting a check, verify the check with the bank it is drawn on. You are under no obligation to accept a check. It is your prerogative.
7. Do not allow the check writer to put his information on the check. It should be done by you, the merchant for verification.
Why use the county attorney’s office to collect your bad checks?
1. There is no cost to you.
2. We collect the face amount of the check, but we also collect an additional merchant fee of $50 for you for each check. Defendants are also charged a $50 processing fee.
3. Only this office can prosecute bad check writers. Collection agencies and check service companies can not use the criminal court system to collect checks.
4. As a law enforcement agency our data bases are more extensive and current than check collection agencies and check service companies’ resources.
5. This office has a detective that will do bad check training for merchants and employees if needed.