One of the primary goals of the Check Enforcement Program is to return money to the victims. Because this is a pre-complaint diversion program, there is a strong incentive for check writers to comply. For the victim the process is easy:
Checks are finalized as quickly as possible. Restitution that has been made is mailed within seven days of the Program receiving the money that is owed you.
If the check writer has not made payment, prosecution proceedings can begin or, if the case is not prosecutable, we will hold the check in an inactive status. If we receive additional information on the check writer the check case can be re-activated and further investigation can take place. Otherwise, the check will be returned. At that point in time, you may wish to turn the matter over to a private collection agency or pursue it through a small claims court.
While the primary goal of the Program is returning more to businesses and individuals who have lost money to bad check crime, there are aspects of the Program that help all of us.
Check offenders pay all the costs of the Program, so victims pay nothing. No county money or tax money is used to pay for this Program. That means no costs for merchants, taxpayers or county government.
Another important goal of the Program is fewer bad checks being issued in the first place. Prevention is preferable to prosecution.
The Program provides merchants with informational material, signs and other items to help them do a better job with checks in general. This includes forms and guidelines for handling and submitting dishonored checks to the Program.
All offenders are required to complete an educational course that teaches them how to control their finances. It is proven that these types of courses lower the number of repeat offenders. Fewer repeat offenders mean fewer dishonored checks.
Click on the links to learn more about how we work to help merchants and other victims avoid accepting bad checks and how we work to help bad check offenders avoid writing them.