Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Isabella County Community Development

Bad Check Restitution

As your Prosecuting Attorney, I'm always concerned about the negative impact of bad checks passed to local businesses. Millions of dollars are lost every year by merchants as a result of this ongoing problem. Bad checks affect everyone in terms of higher consumer costs that must be passed on to offset losses, and increased taxes to cover the additional costs for law enforcement and prosecution.

In an effort to combat this problem, the Bad Check Restitution Program has been organized to assist local merchants with bad check losses. The primary goal of the program is to obtain full restitution for the victim without adding to the financial burden of the criminal justice system.

Since commencing the program in 2007, over $500,000 in restitution has been recovered for area merchants.

First time bad check offenders are given the opportunity to avoid criminal prosecution by attending a mandatory intervention class, in addition to paying restitution. All of this is accomplished without any cost to the taxpayers.

Your interest and participation in this special program will benefit all law-abiding citizens and help your business improve its bottom line!


  1. Make personal contact with the check writer; if you are unsuccessful, send a courtesy notice. The check writer has 5 days to respond and remit payment. Sample Courtesy Notice
  2. If you do not hear from the check writer or receive payment, simply contact the Bad Check Restitution Program at
    1-866-909-9132 for a Bad Check Crime Report form.
  3. Fill out the crime report form, attach originals (you retain photocopies) of all checks and notification documents, such as return receipts and bank notices and mail to:

    Isabella County Prosecuting Attorney
    Bad Check Restitution Program
    P.O. Box 466
    Mount Pleasant, MI 48804-0466
    (postal address only)

If you do not receive restitution within 60 days, contact the Isabella County Prosecuting Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program.


  • Bad check reports are easy to file and follow-up action is prompt
  • Upon recovery, 100 percent of the face value of the check is returned to the victim
  • There is no minimum dollar restriction
  • Bad check offenders must complete an educational class at their own expense
  • The program operates at no cost to the county or the taxpayers

A check is Eligible if...

  • The check amount is no more than $1,000 (or multiple checks not exceeding this limit). There are no minimum dollar restrictions
  • It was received in Isabella County, deposited in a bank in exchange for goods or services and was presumed “good” at the time of acceptance
  • A “Courtesy Notice” was sent to the check writer allowing 5 days to make check good
  • A photo I.D. (driver’s license or state identification card) was recorded at the time of transaction

A check is Ineligible if...

  • It is post-dated
  • Both parties knew there were insufficient funds at the time of transaction
  • It is a two-party, credit card, payroll check
  • It is a stop payment check
  • There is no amount, date or signature on the check
  • The check has not been processed by a bank
  • The numeric and written amounts on the check do not match
  • The check involves an “extension of credit” or was payment on an account

Checks ineligible for the Isabella County District Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program may be pursued via Small Claims Court or by a private collection agency.


The best way to reduce your losses is to avoid taking bad checks from the start. The following tips are suggestions to help you establish good procedures for accepting checks.

Institute a check acceptance policy.
A clearly posted check acceptance policy for your employees and customers can go a long way toward reducing your losses. Policies should state which types of checks can and cannot be accepted and include the consequences to bad check writers.

Confirm the identity of the check writer.
All I.D. can be forged. The most reliable form of I.D. is that which contains a photo and a physical description. Take the I.D. in hand and write the I.D. number, birth date, address and other descriptive data on the front of the check. Ask questions. If the I.D. does not belong to the person writing the check, they may be thrown off guard.

Whenever possible avoid accepting checks written on a new account.
Approximately 85% of all bad checks are written on accounts only a few months old and bear check numbers between 101 and 150. Use caution. Do not accept counter drafts.

The signature should be legible and signed in the presence of the individual accepting the check.
Do NOT accept previously signed checks. For a company check, it is vital that the signature is legible. If not, print the individual's name on the front of the check.

The complete address should be imprinted on the check.
Require a street address, in addition to a P.O. Box number. Obtain a phone number as well.

Accept checks only written with today's date.
Pre- or post-dated checks are not accepted in the Bad Check Restitution Program and cannot typically be criminally prosecuted. This restricts any recourse you may have against the check writer if your own collection attempts fail.

Make sure written amounts and numbers correspond.
Banks will not honor checks with discrepancies between written amounts and numbers.

Avoid accepting checks drawn on an out-of-state bank.

REMEMBER, you are not required to accept a check from anyone.
If you feel uncomfortable or suspicious, trust your intuition!
Ask for another form of payment.


 

Forms are in .pdf format.  You must have Acrobat Reader or a similar product to view our forms.

acrobatYou may download a free copy from Adobe by clicking on the 'Get Adobe Reader' button.

 


 

Download Crime Report

Insufficient Funds Letter

Please retain copies of all documents for your records!

(Online crime report: download form, print blank form and fill in by hand, mail in with all original documents to address below.)

Isabella County Prosecuting Attorney
Bad Check Restitution Program
P.O. Box 6507
Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6507
(postal address only)

Merchant Care Hotline:
1-866-909-9132


Log in using the link below:

https://www.checkprogram.com/Account/Login