Bad Check Diversion Program
The Bad Check Diversion Program works because:
- Bad Check report forms are easy to fill out and file, and follow-up action is prompt
- Upon recovery, 100% of the face value of the check is returned to the merchant, plus applicable bank charges
- There is no minimum dollar restriction
- Bad Check: A check that is not honored when presented at the bank. The bank may indicate that the check was dishonored due to "insufficient funds," "closed" or some other reason.
- 5-day notice: A formal letter that lists the appropriate Michigan statute governing checks and instructs the bad check writer to make immediate payment or face prosecution.
- Complaint: The form that begins a criminal proceeding in court. It contains sections for relevant information to identify your business, the bad check writer and details about the bad check.
Steps for Merchants
- Present the check to your Bank: Before the Economic Crimes Unit (ECU) considers a check for prosecution, the check must be deposited with your bank, even if you suspect the check will not clear.
- Send the 5-Day Notice letter: Once the check returns as dishonored, you must use the notice form (PDF) provided by the ECU and send the bad check writer a 5-day notice.
- Submitting Documents to the ECU: If the bad check writer does not respond within 10 days, completely fill out the complaint form (PDF) provided by the ECU, attach photocopies of the dishonored check and notice letter sent, then mail all documents to the ECU.
Checks That Are Not Accepted
- Checks that are not passed in Eaton County
- The identity of the check writer is unknown
- Checks that are pre-dated
- Checks that are post-dated, or where an agreement was made to hold the check for later payment (Merchants beware: if you accept post-dated checks you do so at your own risk, because the check's message is "there isn't enough money in the account to cover the check today")
- Checks that are altered or suspected of being forgeries or counterfeit
- Two-party checks
- Payroll checks
- Stop-payment checks
- No amount, date or signature on the check
- Numeric and written amount on the check do not match
- Checks that are over 180 days old
Note: Checks that are ineligible for the Eaton County Prosecuting Attorney's Bad Check Restitution Program may still be eligible for collection by the Merchant via small claims court or by a private collection agency.