much do I pay for the District Attorney Office to enforce payment of
This service is free to merchants and other victims of bad checks.
The Check Enforcement Program requires the check writer to pay the
full amount of the check plus a service fee to the victim.
The check writer also pays the administrative costs of the program
so it costs other taxpayers nothing as well.
do I register for the Program?
register on-line or by calling the Check Enforcement Program at
1-888-711-0103. If you register on-line, you will receive a
Merchants Registration Number by return e-mail. If you register
by phone, you will receive your Registration Number via U.S. Mail.
soon as you are registered, you can begin to submit bad checks you
have stores in another counties, can I also submit the bad checks
passed at those stores?
check to qualify it must have been physically passed within Onondaga
County. Bad checks passed in other counties may be submitted
to the District Attorneys Office for the county in where they
were passed. Not all jurisdictions have a program similar to the
District Attorney Check Enforcement Program. Check with the local
District Attorneys Office to see if you can submit the check to
will I receive the money the Program recovers?
restitution including a victims service fee that is
received by the Check Enforcement Program is passed on to the victim
within seven days.
cant I submit any check that was refused by the bank?
checks are not eligible for the Check Enforcement Program. Some of
these are considered civil matters. Some checks are considered more
serious criminal matters and the check writer is not eligible for a
pre-trial diversion program and must face prosecution. Other bad
checks are impossible to prosecute because proper identification was
not taken at the time of the transaction or for other similar
reasons. Other checks do not qualify as valid payment instruments
because of no signature or no amount entered.
If you are unsure whether a check qualifies for the Check
Enforcement Program, submit it anyway. If the check does not
qualify, it will be returned with an explanation of why it did not
can I do about bad checks that dont qualify for the Check
that fall outside the boundaries of the Check Enforcement Program,
usually take one of two possible paths. If the check is considered
part of a civil matter, you can pursue the check writer in small
claims court, with the help of a private attorney or through a
do I do if I think a check is forged?
checks should be immediately submitted to your Sheriffs Office or
local Police Department.
do I have to contact the check writer first?
York, the law requires that the victim make an attempt to get
restitution before referring the check to the District Attorneys
Office. Beyond that, it is just good business practice to give a
check writer an opportunity to make a check good, before you submit
it to the District Attorneys Office. Honest people make honest
mistakes and by letting them know, you can save hard feelings and
potentially keep a good customer. A sample Demand Letter is provided
on this site that is intended to be a cordial but firm notification.
have notified the check writer and they fail to respond within ten
(10) days, you should immediately submit the check to the Check
cant the District Attorneys Office take all the non-complying
check writers to court?
are a legal document. As such they must be complete and the various
elements such as signature, address, and other identification must
be verifiable. If one or another part of a check is missing or can
not be verified, it becomes difficult or impossible to successfully
prosecute the case. Thats why it is so important that merchants
follow the Program Guidelines when they accept any check.
can I do to make sure a check qualifies for prosecution?
Guidelines that are provided on this site outline the steps that a
person should take to insure that a check is handled properly at the
time of the transaction. If one or another of these steps are
overlooked, the check may not qualify for the Check Enforcement
Program. Even if a check technically qualifies for prosecution,
overall case loads in the District Attorneys Office may preclude
a particular check case from being prosecuted.
download a copy of the Guidelines and share it with all management
and personnel who handle bad checks. Go over your store policy for
handling bad checks - in detail. If you need help developing a solid
set of check handling policies, please contact our office.
I get a service fee for the bad check from the Program?
The Check Enforcement Program can require the check writer to pay
the actual bank charges that a victim incurs in handling the bad
check. This is a requirement of the Program that check writers must
comply with to satisfy their responsibility. If they fail to
reimburse the victim for bank charges even if they pay the full
amount of the check they may still be subject to prosecution.
cant I get the posted service fee I normally charge for a
Check Enforcement Program is bound by law to require check writers
to pay only the actual bank costs that were incurred by the victim.
I put more than one check on a Complaint Form?
You can put multiple checks on a single complaint form BUT, all the
checks on a single complaint form must have been received from a
single check writer.
can I do about a bad check that is returned because the Program
cant prosecute the case?
are several reasons that the Check Enforcement Program might not be
able to enforce restitution: the check writer has moved and can not
be located, the check writer has died and the check is a part of an
estate settlement, or insufficient identification was taken at the
time of the transaction. When a check is returned by the Program, a
letter will accompany it that states the specific reason it could
not be enforced. At that point, the victim can pursue the matter in
small claims court, with the help of a private attorney or a
I submit a check to the Program, why cant I take the money if the
check writer wants to pay the check off at my store?
bad check has been submitted to the Check Enforcement Program, the
check writer is given the opportunity to participate in the
pre-trial diversion program or face possible criminal prosecution.
Because the bad check is now part of a legal proceeding (in either
instance) it must be resolved through the Check Enforcement Program.
that accept payment for a bad check that has been submitted to the
Check Enforcement Program can be barred from further use of the