The Bad Check Program operates under the Theft by Deception Statute, KRS 514.040.
Once the merchant receives a returned check from its banking institution, the merchant should bring the original check to the County Attorney’s office. The Bad Check Program is located on the bottom floor of the Henderson County Courthouse. Once the check has been turned over to our office, the merchant does not need to collect any money from the check writer. The merchant may call the maker of the check if he so desires, but it is not necessary. The merchant is not required to send a certified letter to the maker.
This program is free to merchants. When the merchant presents the original check to the County Attorney’s office, the County Attorney’s office will generate a letter to the maker of the check.
The letter notifies the maker that he has seventeen (17) days to redeem the check. The letter instructs the maker to take the letter to any Independence Bank and deposit the full amount using the attached deposit slip. The letter also has information for mailing in the payment or to pay by credit card.
To redeem the check, the maker must pay the face value of the check, the merchant’s service fee of $50.00, and the County Attorney’s service fee of $50.00. If the check is redeemed, the merchant will receive payment from the County Attorney’s office.
If the check is not redeemed by the seventeenth day, the merchant should return to the County Attorney’s office. At that time, the merchant will sign the complaint prepared by the County Attorney’s office. The complaint accompanies a summons or a warrant. Once the complaint is signed, the forms will be taken by the County Attorney’s office to the Courthouse. The forms will be signed by the Judge and served by the appropriate agency.
After being served, the maker will need to contact our office to set up arrangements to pay for the returned check.
To attempt to avoid becoming a victim of a cold check, check a picture ID and confirm the information on the check matches the information on the picture ID.
Avoiding Bad Checks
Top 10 Tips To Avoid Taking a Bad Check
- Confirm the identity of the check writer by viewing a picture ID.
- Legibly write down pertinent information: operator’s license number, date of birth, or SSN on the check.
- Whenever possible avoid accepting “counter checks”.
- The signature should be legible and signed in the presence of the individual accepting the check.
- If the only address imprinted on the check is a post office box, then write the complete address on the check.
- Accept checks only written with the current day’s date.
- Make sure written amounts and numbers correspond.
- No out of state or third party checks.
- No checks from people who have written you a bad check.
- Do not allow the check writer to put their own information on the check
Never be afraid to say NO! You are under no legal obligation to take any check. If you have reservations, you can call the bank to verify that the account exists and there is enough money in the account.
Under Kentucky Law, the Bad Check Program cannot collect the following type of checks:
- Checks without payee, date, amount or signature.
- Checks for past due rent.
- Pre-dated or post-dated checks, or where an agreement was made to hold the check for later payment.
- Checks for which you have later accepted partial payment.
- Checks for which identification of the check writer and person accepting the check cannot be ascertained.
- Checks not written or passed in Henderson Co.
- Third-party checks.
- Checks over one (1) year old, unless over $500.