Worthless Check Procedures

The following are some important things to remember when trying to collect restitution on worthless checks:

  1. We  MUST  have either a valid Wisconsin Driver’s License number or Wisconsin State ID number or a date of birth in order to issue a criminal complaint and to prosecute.  People who write worthless checks are often transients and are therefore difficult to locate.  As a word of caution, you should be aware that some criminals have put incorrect driver’s license numbers on their pre-printed checks.   Make sure that you or your employees verify the number by asking to see the actual license.  
  1.  Make sure you include who accepted the check  .  It is possible that we would need that person as a witness if the case proceeds.
  1. We  cannot  process out-of-state checks.  Please be advised that you accept these checks at your own risk.
  1. Although the “Issuance of Worthless Checks” letter states the signer of the check has 5 days to respond to you,  please wait a total of 20 days after  the letter is sent to the issuer of the bad check before referring it to our office for prosecution.
  1. The letter you send to the issuer of the worthless can be sent via regular mail to the address on the check or the last known address of that person.

The   contact at the Office of the District Attorney is Lindsey, (608) 935-0393.  Please feel free to call her with your questions and send all documentation to her attention.

  Detailed Procedures  

1. If the check is stamped “  ACCOUNT CLOSED  ”, complete a worksheet and send it in to our office with the original check(s).  Also include any original bank statement(s) showing any fee you incurred for the return of the worthless check(s).   No further steps are necessary.   If the check is marked something other than account closed, follow the instructions below.

2.  In order to prosecute on a worthless check, the check must meet the following conditions:

  1. It must be issued by a Wisconsin resident;  we cannot prosecute out of state checks  ;
  2. It must be written with a simultaneous exchange of goods/services, no post-dating;
  3. The amount must be in excess of $250.00;
  4. It cannot bear the stamp “Payment Stopped;”
  5. It cannot have been accepted as a partial payment; and
  6. It cannot be a two-party check.
  7. We may or may not be able to prosecute checks that are marked “Refer to Maker”.  These cases will have to be evaluated by the District Attorney to determine whether or not we can prosecute.

3. You  MUST  have a valid driver’s license number or state ID number or a date of birth in order for our office to locate and prosecute the person who wrote the check.  Remember that preprinted checks can “say” anything.  Be sure to verify that the numbers on the check and the numbers on the actual license or ID are the same.

4. Give written notice to the check issuer (the person that  signed  the check) via regular mail to the address listed on the check  or  to the last known address.

  *Note: It is no longer required that notice be sent certified restricted mail or given by Sheriff’s service.*  

5.  Wait 20 days  from the time you send the check issuer notice even though the notice says “5” days.

6. If payment is not received by you, send us a completed worthless check worksheet along with the original check, a copy of the letter you sent to the issuer, and any fees incurred from the worthless check (e.g. bank fee).  It is very important to enclose receipts.   If you do not have receipt for your incurred expenses, we cannot collect them.  

7.  Once a worthless check(s) is submitted to our office for prosecution, you must NOT accept payment from the issuer of the worthless check without consent from our office  .

Worthless Check Worksheet

Letter to Issuer Template

General Information
Phone Numbers
(608) 935-0393
Fax: (608) 935-7928
Emergencies: Dial 911
222 N. Iowa St.

8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Monday - Friday