Worthless Check

The Worthless Check Program was established to assist merchants and citizens in the collection and prosecution of worthless checks. Millions of dollars are lost every year by merchants as a result of worthless checks. These losses are passed on to consumers through higher prices. Theft with a pen is more subtle than theft with a weapon, but it is still theft, and it is your loss. We can help you get restitution for your loss quickly and efficiently.


What is the Worthless Check Program?

The Worthless Check Unit operates within the Solicitor’s Office to provide for the collection and distribution of restitution to the victims of worthless checks.  The program transfers the collection process from the victim to the Solicitor’s Office, reducing the victim’s work and cost associated with collections.  The traditional prosecution of worthless checks is still the law.  Participation by a victim in the Worthless Check Program is optional.

The Worthless Check Program is self-sustaining and under the control and supervision of Solicitor Stumbo’s office.  The program operates with the cooperation of the judicial branch and law enforcement agencies.  Operational costs are recovered from the offenders.

The establishment of a Worthless Check Unit within Solicitor Stumbo’s office is authorized by the South Carolina Legislature and is in partnership with the governing bodies for the counties of the Eighth Judicial Circuit.


Collection Procedure

When you receive a worthless check, and it meets the legal and program requirements, you can submit the check and the complaint form to the Solicitor’s Office for collection.  This relieves you of the burden of the collection and prosecution process

The Solicitor’s Worthless Check Unit will contact the check writer and collect and disburse restitution to the victim.  If restitution is not made pursuant to the requirements of the program, the check writer will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Caution:​  Once you submit a worthless check to the Worthless Check Unit, DO NOT ACCEPT PAYMENTS IN ANY FORM FROM THE CHECK WRITER.  This may void collection and prosecution efforts.  All contacts with the check writer must be made through the Worthless Check Unit after submission of the check.


Prosecution Procedure

When the Worthless Check Program receives a worthless check complaint, and restitution is not made in accordance with the legal requirements, a criminal charge will be filed.  The Solicitor’s Office has full statutory discretion concerning the prosecution of your worthless check complaint.


Before Accepting a Check…

  • Make sure the check is signed in your presence
  • Make sure the date and amount are correct
  • Request a driver’s license/ID and record the number and issuing state
  • Compare a driver’s license/ID address and the address on the check; note sex and race
  • Request a date of birth
  • Request and verify a physical address if the check denotes PO Box
  • Request a place of employment and a telephone number

 

Program Requirements

Checks qualify if:  ​

  • ​​Given for labor (payroll checks) or personal services
  • Given in payment for merchandise, cash, or services
  • Returned by the bank because of insufficient funds, account closed, or stop payment

All checks must be deposited within 10 days of receipt.

Note:  Checks should be submitted to the Worthless Check Unit for collection with the completed complaint forms within sixty (60) days of the date the check was presented to you.

Checks do not qualify if:

  • ​​The check is post-dated
  • The merchant has agreed to hold the check
  • The merchant has reason to believe that the check is no good at the time of receipt
  • The check is stolen or is written on a fictitious account
  • There is a signature irregularity

 

Payment to Victims

When full restitution for a worthless check is made, the payment will be sent directly to you at the address specified on the complaint form.  If you have a change of address, please remember to notify our office.
You are entitled to receive the full face value of the worthless check and any statutorily approved service charges as a result of the worthless check.

Download / View Forms:  Worthless Check Complaint Forms (choose appropriate county)
Abbeville County Greenwood County Laurens County Newberry County