Collect on a COLD CHECK
It is our goal to provide effective prosecution and efficient collection efforts to the victims in bad check cases. Every bad check written affects us all, so we must all work together to help stop the crime and limit the criminal’s ability to commit this crime. Please call us any time with questions or concerns.
Cold Check Collection
The Answers You Need
Why Use the County Attorney’s Office to Collect Your Bad Check?
There is no cost to you, the merchant.
We collect the face amount of the check but also collect an additional merchant service fee of $50.00.
Only the County Attorney’s Office can prosecute bad check writers. Collection agencies and check service companies cannot use the criminal justice system to collect checks.
The County Attorney’s office has access to law enforcement databases that are more extensive and current than check collection agencies or companies.
How the Cold Check Program Operates
Kentucky law authorizes the County Attorney’s Office to prosecute writers whose checks are returned for insufficient funds or due to closed accounts under the Theft by Deception statues KRS 514.040.
Once the merchant receives a returned check from its banking institution, the merchant should bring the original check and one legible copy of the front and back of the check to the Spencer County Attorney’s office. The merchant may call the maker of the check if he so desires, but it is not necessary.
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. This letter notifies the maker that he has ten (10) days to redeem the check. The letter also has information regarding payment options.
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 tenth 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 are then entered into a state-wide e-warrant system.
Protecting Your Business
To help avoid becoming a victim of a bad check:
Ask for identification and make sure the check matches the information on the picture ID.
Compare the signature on the identification to that of the check writer.
Do not accept checks with only a post office box as the address. Obtain the actual address of the customer and write it on the check.
If you have any doubts about a check, verify the check with the bank it is drawn on. You are under no obligation to accept a customer’s check.
Identification Recommended on Checks
Accurate street address.
Date of birth.
Driver’s license number.
If the maker of the check has an out-of-state driver’s license, the merchant may want to get the maker’s social security number – this will enable the Sheriff’s Department to trace that person, if necessary.
Types of Checks that the County Attorney’s Office Cannot Accept
Checks returned for “Stop Payment”
Checks not deposited within 6 months from the date of the check.
Checks more than one year old, unless the check is more than $500.00.