Bad Check Enforcement
Each year merchants lose millions of dollars due to receiving bad checks. Over 8,000 bad checks are written per day in Kentucky. This loss to businesses pushes the cost of goods and services higher. Make no mistake, writing a worthless check is a crime.
In an effort to address this problem, the McCracken County Attorney’s Office administers a bad check enforcement program. It is a restitution driven program. Those that won’t pay will be vigorously prosecuted. Collecting on bad checks are a problem for most businesses because of the time and cost involved outweigh the benefit of having the debt paid. However, the McCracken County Attorney’s Office is here to help.
How the Bad Check Enforcement Program Works
If you are unable to collect on a bad check someone gives you, you may bring the check to the McCracken County Attorney’s Office at the McCracken County Courthouse, 301 South 6th Street, Paducah, Kentucky, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and we will attempt to collect on that check for you.
You should have a valid street address and be able to identify the maker of the check. If we issue criminal charges, the Sheriff cannot serve the defendant at a P. O. Box address. Also if criminal charges are necessary, we will need a date of birth, social security number, or driver’s license number for the Defendant.
After you come to our office we will then send a letter notifying the party that they have ten (10) business days within which to make the check good. The writer of the check will receive a letter from our office along demanding payment for the amount of the check, plus fees which include an additional $50 to you the merchant and a $50 fee to the County Attorney’s Office for administering the program.
If the individual does not make the check good within ten (10) business days, our office will call the merchant to come in to sign criminal charges for THEFT BY DECEPTION. Once the criminal complaint is signed, the defendant will receive a summons to appear in Court. You will not need to be present for the arraignment. If the person pleads guilty at the arraignment, the court will make sure that the defendant is required to pay off the bad check. If the defendant pleads not guilty, the case will be set for a trial and you will likely be subpoenaed. It is rare that a trial is ever necessary.
We encourage you to bring bad checks to our office as soon as possible after your efforts to collect. The sooner we pursue collection, the better the results. You should not use this service if someone stops payment on a check to you because of a dispute over the quality or quantity of work done for you. We will not issue criminal charges for this type of a civil dispute.
We presently handle hundreds of bad check cases every month for many businesses and individuals in McCracken County. We encourage those not presently using this service to begin doing so. As mentioned above, this is a free service provided by this office so that you can receive payment on your bad checks.
Why Use the McCracken County Attorney’s Office to Collect On Bad Checks?
1. There is no cost to you.
2. We collect the face amount of the check, but we also collect an additional merchant fee of $50 for you for each check.
3. Only this office can prosecute bad check writers. Collection agencies and check service companies cannot use the criminal court system to collect checks.
4. As a law enforcement agency our databases are more extensive and current than check collection agencies and check service companies’ resources.