Bad Checks

Has your business been issued a bad check?  The St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney will prosecute bad check cases when certain criteria are met for merchants.

Bad Check Collection Process

  1. When a check has been returned to a merchant from the bank for insufficient funds or because the account is closed, try to collect the funds by sending written notice to the check writer informing them the check did not clear and demand payment.
  2. If payment is not made within 30 days, bring or send by mail the original check, copies of notices demanding payment, the SFCPA Bad Check Referral Form and Probable Cause Statement.  A form and PC statement is required for each individual check submitted to us.
  3. We will send a demand letter to the bad check writer.  Do NOT accept payment after the check has been sent to our office.  If payment is accepted, you may compromise any collection efforts or criminal prosecution of the violator.
  4. If our office does not receive payment within 30 days of the official demand letter, the case will be reviewed for criminal charges.  If the case is charged as a criminal offense, you may be required to testify at a later time.
  5. When our office receives payment, we forward that to the victimized merchant.

A few things to remember when accepting checks:

  • Agreeing to hold a check and wait to cash it is a civil matter – we cannot prosecute where a civil agreement has been reached.
  • Post dating a check has the same implication – offering goods now and expecting payment later is akin to buying on credit.
  • When taking a check, get as much information on the person issuing the check as you can – name, date of birth, social security number, and driver’s license number are crucial identifiers needed to prosecute.
  • Make sure the check is written out in full in your presence.
  • Do not accept two-party checks (where the check is made payable to someone other than the person or business accepting the check, such as payroll checks.)