Bad Checks

Check Deception is a crime. Each year merchants and other citizens suffer losses due to "NSF," "Closed Account," and other bad checks. Bad checks affect everyone since businesses must raise the costs of goods and services to make up for their losses.

Bad Check Program


The St. Joseph County Prosecuting Attorney Bad Check Program is designed to hold bad check writers accountable for their actions. The primary goal of the program is to secure restitution for the victims. By law there are certain checks which we cannot process in the program such as two party checks (checks endorsed by one payee to another), post-dated or pre-dated checks, and checks which are delivered when the victim was aware that insufficient funds were in the account to pay the check amount.

Check Acceptance Policy


Each individual in the County can do their part by establishing a comprehensive Check Acceptance Policy. We have put together some suggestions for your review. Checks, whether from an individual or a business, present a risk which a careful check acceptance policy can reduce. Remember: you do not have to accept an individual or business check as payment. You can ask for cash, a debit or credit card, a certified bank check, or money order.

Guidelines & Recovery Process


In the event you are the victim of a bad check, and the check is eligible under our Check Eligibility Guidelines, we ask that you review the Bad Check Recovery Process. To start the Recovery Process you will need to complete and send us a Bad Check Report to Prosecutor (PDF) which contains the information which allows us to process the check in our program. For instance, checks which do not provide our Office with adequate proof of the identity of the check writer cannot be processed.

As the Prosecuting attorney we are governed by the laws and ordinances which create and limit our authority. Please know that our inability to process a check does not prevent you from collecting through the civil courts or debt collection services.