Worthless Check Procedure
Suggestions for dealing with dishonored checks:
Important: it is important to establish positive ID.
Can the store clerk positively ID the check writer?
- Obtain a driver's license number and date of birth from the check writer. Copy it onto the face of the check (upper right hand corner of the check, for example). It is difficult to issue a criminal complaint and impossible to issue an arrest warrant
without this information. Do not trust a driver's license number that may be printed on the check. Copy it yourself from the actual license or place a checkmark next to a preprinted DL number on the check only once it has been visually verified.
Do not use a social security number as identification.
- Have the store clerk who takes the check place his/her initials on the check so you can identify who received the check.
Qualifying Checks Include:
- Insufficient Funds/ or Non-sufficient funds
- Closed Account
- No Account – Be extra careful with checks written on new accounts (check numbers 100-200)
- Checks passed when both parties knew there were insufficient funds at the time of the transaction
- Stop payment checks
- Counterfeit or forged checks
- Post-dated checks - The date of the check must be the date that the check is given to you.
- Checks written toward a pre-existing debt
- Refer-to-maker checks
- Checks older than 180 days
Out of State Checks
Do not take out-of-state checks (we will not extradite on misdemeanor bad checks). If you take an out-of-state check, obtain a full middle name, date-of-birth and driver's license. Checks from out-of-state are very hard to collect restitution on.
Procedures to Follow if You Receive a Worthless Check
- Send a letter (sample letter) by certified mail, return receipt
requested, to the check writer explaining the check was dishonored and demanding payment within 5 days of receipt. Keep a copy of the letter and mail receipt (the signed “green card” you receive after the letter has been successfully
- If no results are achieved within five days after the letter is received by the check writer, complete the worthless check prosecution referral form that you can obtain from the District Attorney's Office web site. (If you receive the green card back signed or the whole
envelope back from the Post Office, keep this information).
Send to the District Attorney's Office
- A copy of the dishonored Check.
- The certified copy of the letter you sent to the defendant.
- The green certified mailing receipt or entire envelope that was returned by the Post Office.
- The completed check complaint form that you obtained from the District Attorney.
If you get paid from the check writer after turning the check over to us, you must contact our office at (608) 785-9604 and request to speak to Stacy.
La Crosse County District Attorney's Office
Check Enforcement Program
333 Vine Street, Rm 1100
La Crosse WI 54601
La Crosse County Check Enforcement Program, through the La Crosse County District Attorney's Office prosecutes bad check cases. If you are a business or individual that has received a bad check and are not
familiar with our offices procedure please give us a call:
(608) 785-9604 and request to speak to Stacy