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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, giving the check writer 15 days to respond and remit payment.
  • If you do not hear from the check writer or receive payment, complete the crime report by clicking on the Complaint Form below. The report must be notarized.
  • Submit to the address below, the original notarized crime report and cancelled check (s), (remember to retain copies of all submitted documents), notification documents such as return receipts and bank notices as well as supporting paperwork, i.e., invoices, sales or leasing agreements, etc.,

Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office
Bad Check Restitution Program
1350 NW 12th Avenue
Miami, Florida 33136

Why It Works?

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

  • Bad check reports are easy to file.
  • 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 15 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 or the payee was asked to hold the check.
  • Both parties knew at the time of transaction that there were insufficient funds in the account.
  • 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 State Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program that cannot be prosecuted, may be pursued via an action in Small Claims Court if the amount is less than $5000.00. (http://www.miami-dadeclerk.com/property_small_claims.asp); it can also be pursued via a private collection agency or any other action deemed appropriate on advice of counsel.

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.
  • Only accept checks that are dated on the date of the transaction. Post-dated checks and checks that you are asked to hold cannot be prosecuted and will not be accepted in the 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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