Bad Check Recovery Program
In Hancock County, merchants and individual citizens lose thousand of dollars each year because of bad checks. Consumers share in these losses through higher prices. In an effort to assist the citizens of Hancock County, the Bad Check Recovery Program was implemented in January of 1991. Since, 1991, over five hundred thousand dollars have been returned to merchants and individual citizens.
Bad Check Recovery Process
The following requirements must be met before the Prosecutor’s Office can take action:
When a bad check is received, the recipient must notify the bad check writer by certified mail/returned receipt giving them ten (10) days to make the check good or you will turn matter over to the Prosecutor’s Office.
If the person does not make the check good within the 10 days, the bad check recipient should bring the following to the Prosecutor’s Office:
- The signed certified mail card OR the refused certified letter
- A copy of the letter
- The bad check
- A cashier’s check or money order made payable to the Treasurer of Hancock County for $10 per case
- Complete a REPORT OF BAD CHECK form obtained from this office
When you bring the above information to this office, a letter will be sent to the check writer. Our letter gives the check writer fifteen (15) days to make restitution. This includes a $30.00 fee that will be remitted to the victim for filing costs and expenses.
Any person or business receiving a bad check in Hancock County is eligible to participate in the Bad Check Recovery Program. The check must be returned to the victim by the bank with one of the following statements:
- Non-sufficient funds
- Closed account
- No account
- Unable to locate account
- Refer to maker
Ineligible Bad Checks
- Post dated checks. (Postdated checks constitute promissory notes.)
- Checks held for an agreed time. (Checks held for an agreed time period constitute credit to the check writer.)
- Stop payment checks
- Checks for which partial restitution has been received
- Checks which have been given to a private collection agency for collection
- Third party checks
- Record the check writer’s social security number, driver’s license number and date of birth on the face of the check at the time the check is issued and accepted.
- Make sure the check writer does not write their own I.D. on the check.
- DON’T take counter checks.
- DON’T take two party checks. The Prosecutor’s Office is unable to prosecute these types of checks.
- DON’T take partial payment on a check. This can nullify the right to criminal prosecution.
- DON’T take postdated checks.
- We urge people to not accept checks from persons who live or bank out of state. It is difficult to obtain bank records from another state. In addition, extradition from other states is declined in Bad Check cases.