Worthless Check Program

The Solicitor's 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 invariably 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. Now is the time to call a halt to worthless check fraud!

Information Regarding Paying Your Bad Check to The Worthless Check Program:

  • Payments must be paid with either a money order or a bank cashier’s check
  • The Worthless Check Program does not accept cash or debit/credit cards

What is 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 under the control and supervision of Solicitor Barnette's Office and is supported through cooperation of the judicial, law enforcement, and community service agencies. Operational costs are recovered from the offenders.

The establishment of a Worthless Check Unit within Solicitor Barnette's Office has been authorized by the South Carolina General Assembly and is in partnership with the county governing body.

Collection Procedure
When you receive a worthless check and it meets the legal requirements, you can submit the check and the Victim/Vendor Worksheet form to the Solicitor's Office for collection. This relieves you of the burden of the traditional collection and prosecution process.

The Solicitor's Worthless Check unit will contact the check writer, 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 if necessary elements are met.

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 a 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

Information required for criminal prosecution:

  • Make sure the check is signed in your presence
  • Make sure the date and amount are correct
  • Request a drivers' license/ID and record the number and the issuing date
  • Compare drivers' license/ID address and address on check; note any identifiers
  • Request a date of birth
  • Request and verify a physical address if check denotes a PO Box
For third party checks (i.e. payroll), obtain the person's name who signed the check.

Program Requirements  
Checks Qualify If Given for labor (payroll checks) or personal services
  Given in payment of
  • Merchandise
  • Cash
  • Services
  All checks must be deposited within 10 days of receipt
  Returned to the bank because of
  • Insufficient funds
  • Account closed
  • Stop payment
Note:  Checks should be submitted to the Worthless Check Unit for collection with the completed complaint forms within 45 days of the date the check was presented to you.
Checks Do Not Qualify If Post dated check
  Agreement to hold check at the time of the transaction
  Victim had reason to believe check was no good upon receipt
  • Stolen checks
  • Fictitious account
  • Signature irregular
  • Electronic Checks
Checks that do not qualify under this program may be in violation of another law (i.e. forgery) and can be prosecuted to the appropriate statute.

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.

Contact Information  
Barry Barnette Solicitor's Office Worthless Check Units
Spartanburg County
Spartanburg County Courthouse
180 Magnolia Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306
Program Director:  Precious Rivers
Cherokee County
Cherokee County Courthouse
125 Floyd Baker Boulevard
Gaffney, SC 29340
Coordinator:  Carol Pirkey