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Hot Check Program
The Hot Check Program of the City Prosecutor's Office assists Fayetteville Merchants and Citizens in regaining lost revenue due to receiving checks returned by financial institutions for insufficient balance or account closed status (hot checks). Checks can be prosecuted through this office up to a $1000 amount and you have up to one year to prosecute. This program also gives the hot check writer a chance to make good on his or her checks without being prosecuted and prosecutes the hot check writers who do not take care of their debts.
Procedure: When Check Is Returned from Bank
There are certain procedures you must follow before this office will accept a returned check for prosecution.
The check must be presented to the bank of payment, even if you know it will not be honored, and stamped by the bank as to the reason for dishonor.
When a check is returned marked "Insufficient Funds" or "Account Closed", it should be delivered to the City Prosecutor as soon as practicable.
We will need:
- The original check with the bank notation showing the reason it was not honored;
- The name, address, and phone number of the person who accepted the check and who can identify the maker;
- Specific identification of check writer, such as driver's license number, date of birth and/or physical description. (It will be necessary for you to supply this information on a form when you come into the office.) Whoever brings the check will be required to sign an Affidavit that the instrument is a Hot Check. This Affidavit will also be authority for the arrest of the check writer, if necessary.
- There is no cost to file a complaint for Hot Checks
Procedure: Bad Check Is Turned Over To the City Prosecutor's Office
5. Once a check has been turned into this office for collection, the merchant/citizen should not accept any payments for said check. The check writer should be referred to the City Prosecutor’s Office.
6. A courtesy letter will be sent to the check writer requesting payment for the face value of a check plus a $30 merchant fee. If payment is not made in the time provided, a warrant for their arrest may be issued. It is the check writer's responsibility to make contact with this office or to send the money in the time allowed on the letter. A warrant may be canceled when the check is paid, before an arrest is made.
7. The Hot Check Fee Act was passed by the Legislature to defray some of the prosecution expense and require the Hot Check writers to help bear the costs of their misdeeds. After filing a case, there can be the additional expenses of a fine and court costs which can be several hundred dollars. Restitution will be collected at the City’s Cashier in the Water Department and forwarded to the merchant the following month.