Have you or your business incurred a customer who has presented a check that has come back to you either insufficient funds or account closed? Writing a worthless check can be a crime and our office may be able to help if you can say yes to all of the following items:
- The check is more than $25.00.
- The check is less than 6 months old from the date the check was issued.
- No partial payments have been made on the check.
- The check isn't a post-dated check.
- The check wasn't given for past consideration, except payroll checks.
- The check wasn't sent to you from out-of-state.
- The check writer doesn't live out of state (for checks less than $2,500).
- The check isn't a two-party check.
- The check isn't for rent.
Requirements of Complainant
A complainant will have to supply the bad check along with Forms A and B fully and accurately filled out and submitted for each person with a bad check referred. If the necessary information is not supplied in the forms, the District Attorney's Office will not be able to prosecute the person who issued the bad check in question.
Please review Form A carefully. The District Attorney's Office is strongly urging merchants to use Wisconsin drivers licenses in identifying check issuers. If a Wisconsin drivers license is used, proper comparisons outlined in Form A must be carried out and the issuer's license number must be compared to the one pre-printed on the check or the driver's license number must be copied onto the check before a criminal prosecution will be commenced. This new policy also requires merchants to be able to provide the name of the person who accepted the check.
If identification is not accomplished through the use of a photo identification card or personal identification and if #4 of part one of Form A is checked, prosecution of the worthless check is not likely and the check may very well be returned to you.
There must be a Form A and Form B submitted for each check turned over to the District Attorney's Office.
If the check is an insufficient funds check, the complainant must attempt to notify the issuer in writing via regular mail that there were insufficient funds to cover the check and that the issuer had five (5) days from receipt of the notice to pay off the check. Form C, available from the District Attorney's Office is an example of what that notice should look like. You are not required to send a five (5) day notice to the issuer in an account closed situation.
District Attorney Office's Procedures:
- A letter will be written to the check writer by our office. If they do not respond to our letter and all the appropriate conditions have been met, the check writer may be prosecuted for issuance of worthless checks.
- Some check writer's case(s) may be appropriate for the Court Diversion Program.
See "Worthless Check Complaint Forms" A, B & C (PDF).