Bad Check Restitution Program
As your District Attorney, I’m always concerned about the negative impact of bad checks passed to local businesses. Millions of dollars are lost every year by merchants as a result of this ongoing problem. Bad checks affect everyone in terms of higher consumer costs that must be passed on to offset losses, and increased taxes to cover the additional costs for law enforcement and prosecution.
In an effort to combat this problem, I have organized the Bad Check Restitution Program to assist local merchants with bad check losses. The primary goal of the program is to obtain full restitution for the victim without adding to the financial burden of the criminal justice system.
The Bad Check Restitution Program operates in conjunction with American Corrective Counseling Services as a unique, cooperative effort between the private and public sectors. Merchants in the 17th Judicial District benefit because they receive restitution without paying any collection fees. First time bad check offenders are given the opportunity to avoid being reviewed for criminal prosecution by attending a mandatory, eight hour intervention class, in addition to paying restitution. All of this is accomplished without any cost to the taxpayers.
Cutting Your Losses
Follow these three easy steps:
1. Make personal contact with the check writer. If you are unsuccessful, send a certified notice (see sample on page 2 of the complaint form). The check writer has 10 days to respond and remit payment.
2. If you do not hear from the check writer or receive payment, simply contact the Bad Check Restitution Program at (800) 574-6719 for a complaint form.
3. Fill out the complaint form, attach originals (you retain photocopies) of all checks and notification documents, such as return receipts and bank return-check notices, and mail to:
Seventeenth Judicial District Attorney
Bad Check Restitution Program
PO Box 399
Henderson, CO 80640-0399
If you do not receive restitution within 60 days,
contact the District Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program at 800-574-6719.
The Bad Check Restitution Program
- The program operates at no cost to the county or the taxpayers.
- Bad check offenders must complete an eight hour educational class at their expense. There is no minimum dollar restriction. Upon recovery, 100 percent of the face value of the check is returned to the merchants.
- Bad Check complaints are easy to file and follow-up action is prompt.
- Checks are eligible for the Bad Check Restitution Program if:
- The amount is no more than $1,500 (or multiple checks not exceeding this limit). There are no minimum dollar restrictions.
- It was received in the 17th Judicial District, deposited in a bank in exchange for goods and services presumed “good” at the time of acceptance.
- A “Courtesy Notice” is sent to the check writer allowing ten days to make the check good.
- It is submitted to the program no earlier than 31 days but within 90 days from the date of the check.
- A photo I.D. (driver’s license, military I.D., state identification card, or a check cashing card number) was recorded at the time of the transaction.
A check is ineligible for the program if:
- It is stolen.
- It is post-dated.
- It is made out to “cash”.
- Both parties knew there were insufficient funds at the time of transaction.
- It is a two party, stop payment, rent, government issued, payroll or travelers check.
- The identity of the check writer is unknown.
- There is no amount, date, or signature on the check.
- It has not been processed by a bank.
- It was not passed in the 17th Judicial District.
- Checks ineligible for the District Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program may be pursued via small claims court or by a private collection agency.
Help prevent fraud by following these procedures:
- Institute a check acceptance policy. A clearly posted check acceptance policy for your employees and customers can go a long way toward reducing your losses.
- Accept checks written only with today’s date. Post dated checks are civil matters and are not accepted in the District Attorney’s Program.
- Trust your instincts! If something doesn’t seem right, ask questions or ask for another form of payment. You are not obligated to accept a check.