Passing a bad check is a CRIME. The Wilmington Police Department's Financial Crimes Unit would like the share the following information from the Delaware Attorney General's Office.
What to do if you have a check returned unpaid:
- Before you contact the police, you must first make reasonable efforts to collect on the check. Contact the check writer. You may contact them via phone, but if those efforts are unsuccessful you must send a letter via certified mail. In this letter you should identify the check by number and amount and inform the writer that it was returned unpaid. It may be helpful to enclose a copy of the check. Inform the writer that payment is needed within 10 days or you will assume there is no intent to honor the check. You may add reasonable fees to the amount owed to cover your time and any fees you may have been charged by your bank.
- If you followed the guidelines for accepting checks and sent the letter to the check writer and not received payment within the 10 days, you may submit the check to the Attorney General’s Check Enforcement Program. You will need to submit a COPY of the check with the LETTER REQUEST FORM. The AG's Office will send an informative letter to the check writer notifying them of the possible consequences of not making payment on the check.
- If your collection efforts have failed and the Check Enforcement Program’s Information letter did not result in payment AND THE CHECK MEETS THE PROSECUTION REQUIRMENTS LISTED BELOW, resubmit a COPY of the check accompanied by the COMPLAINT FORM to the Attorney General’s Check Program. The AG's Office will forward it to the appropriate police agency for investigation and subsequently for prosecution.
- If collection efforts have failed and the check DOES NOT meet prosecution requirements listed below you may still make attempts to collect on the check. You may contact the police agency directly. With a police report you may request a warrant be issued at a Justice of the Peace Court. You may also pursue any appropriate civil remedies.
- The amount of the check is $1000.00 or more.
- There is more than one check written by the same check writer within one month and the total amount is $1000.00 or more.
- The check is written on a closed account.
- The check is fictitious or written on a non-existent account.
- There are four or more checks written within one month regardless of amount.
For more information, visit the Delaware Attorney General's Check Enforcement website.