The Bad Check Restitution Program assists local merchants with bad check losses to obtain restitution and to relieve burden on the criminal justice system.
Merchants in Orange County benefit because they receive restitution without paying any collection fees. First time bad check offenders are given the opportunity to avoid criminal prosecution by attending a mandatory, 8-hour intervention class, in addition to paying restitution. All of this is accomplished without cost to the taxpayers.
Orange County District Attorney
Bad Check Restitution Program
806 E. Avenida Pico, Suite I
PMB # 340
San Clemente, CA 92673-5639
A check is eligible if:
A check is ineligible if:
The best way to reduce losses is to avoid taking bad checks from the start. The following tips are suggestions to help establish good procedures for accepting checks.
Institute a check acceptance policy
A clearly-posted check acceptance policy for employees and customers can go a long way toward reducing 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. Compare the information on the I.D. and the check.
Whenever possible avoid accepting checks written on a new account
Approximately 85 percent 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 one may have against the check writer if one's 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.
Orange County District Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program
806 E. Avenida Pico, Suite I PMB# 340
San Clemente, CA 92673-5639
Victim Hotline: (866) 657-8526