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As your State Attorney, I’m always concerned about the negative impact of bad checks passed to local businesses. Millions of dollars are lost every year to 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 serious problem, I have organized the Bad Check Restitution Program 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.

First time bad check offenders are given the opportunity to avoid criminal prosecution by attending a mandatory, eight hour 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!

Cutting Your Losses

Easy As 1-2-3:

  • Make personal contact with the check writer; if you are unsuccessful, send a statutory notice. The check writer has 7 days to respond and remit payment.
  • If you do not hear from the check writer or receive payment, simply contact the Bad Check Restitution Program at 1-800-832-1853 for a crime report.
  • Fill out the crime report, attach originals (you retain photocopies) of all checks and notification documents, such as return receipts and bank notices, and mail to:

Miami-Dade County State Attorney
Bad Check Restitution Program
P.O. Box 350160 Miami
Florida 33135-0160

Why It Works?

The Miami-Dade County State Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program Works Because:

  • 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 merchants.
  • There is no minimum dollar restriction. Bad check offenders must complete an eight-hour education class at their expense.
  • The program operates at no cost to the county or the taxpayers.

Check Screening Tips

How To Determine A Check`s Eligibility For The Program:

A check is eligible if:

  • It was received in Miami-Dade County, deposited in a bank in exchange for goods or services presumed good at the time of acceptance.
  • A Statutory Notice (sample of statutory notice is in 2nd page of complaint form below) is sent to the check writer allowing 7 days to make the check good.
  • It is submitted to the program allow 90 days to pursue restitution.
  • A photo I.D. (driver’s license, military I.D., state identification card, or check cashing card) was recorded at the time of the transaction.

A check is ineligible if:

  • It is post-dated.
  • Both parties knew there were insufficient funds at the time of transaction.
  • It is an out of state, three party, or government check.
  • The identity of the check writer is unknown.
  • There is no amount, date, or signature on the check.

Checks ineligible for The Miami-Dade County State Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program may be pursued via small claims court process ( http://www.miami-dadeclerk.com/property_small_claims.asp ) or by a private collection agency.

Check Acceptance Tips

  • 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.
  • Accept checks written only with today’s date. Post dated checks are civil matters and are not accepted in The Miami-Dade County State Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program.
  • Trust your instincts! If something doesn’t seem right, ask questions or ask for another form of payment. You are not obligated to accept a check.

Complaint Form

 

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