In the state of Missouri, it is a criminal and civil offense to write a bad check. The law is in place to protect businesses and consumers and also afford them the opportunity to seek financial restitution. Here is the process and some general ideas of the procedure here in Jackson County:
Bring in person or send by mail, the original check, or the "substitute check" provided by your bank, along with the completed Complaint/Probable Cause Statement, which you can download from this website, to the Bad Check Unit (BCU). BCU is located at 321 W. Lexington, Suite. 100 in Independence, Missouri, and the phone number is 881-4640.
The BCU will send a ten-day notice letter to the issuer of the bad check. This notice is required by law and allows the issuer to bring the money, including administrative and collection fees, to our office within ten days of the postmark date of the letter. Most cases are resolved at this stage.
If all fees and restitution are not paid within this ten-day period, the issuer of the bad check is required to attend an intake session. At the intake session, the bad check writer is provided another opportunity to honor all restitution and fees. At this stage, the bad check writer will also be required to attend a seminar on how to manage a checking account.
Once all attempts to receive payment for the bad check have been exhausted, then our office may initiate criminal proceedings. There are many factors that go into the decision to pursue criminal charges. When criminal charges are filed, the bad check writer is also given another opportunity to make good on the check. The BAD CHECK UNIT will process and prosecute your check at no cost to you. In fact, the BCU will collect a fee, in addition to the face amount of the check, to help you recoup any of the costs you are charged by your bank for the checks return.
When restitution is not made to the victim, the writer of the bad check may face felony and/or misdemeanor prosecution. If convicted, the check writer may be placed on supervised probation and required to pay restitution over a number of years. In some cases, the check writer may even have to serve jail time.
For additional information on the Check Enforcement Program or:
- To request a speaker for your organization
- To receive a Merchant Packet which includes informational brochures, guidelines and stickers
Jackson County Prosecuting
Attorneys Bad Check Unit
321 W. Lexington, Suite. 100
Independence, MO 64050
Phone: (816) 881-4640
Fax: (816) 881-4526
Bad Check Complaint Form (PDF)