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Writing a bad check may result in criminal charges filed, a summons to court, warrant for your arrest and having a permanent record of being a bad check writer. The Program offers you, the check writer, the opportunity to divert this matter from going to court. If the balance is paid in full before criminal charges are filed, then this offense will not go on your permanent record.
Payments can be mailed to: MCAO Check Enforcement Program, 225 West Madison Street, Phoenix, AZ 85003
We only accept payment by money order or cashier’s check by mail or a credit card through our online payment portal. Payment by mail must include your Personal ID (PID) number on all forms of payment. A receipt will be mailed to you showing the payment was received and your account credited. The online payment portal requires your PID number and last name to access the system. Do not pay the merchant(s), or the person(s) to whom the check was originally written.
You may have a warrant out for your arrest. You have the following options:
If you or your business has received a bad check in exchange for goods or services, fill out a Victim Information Form (first time victims only), attach the bad check to a completed Submittal/Witness Form (use a separate form for each bad check), and mail or deliver these materials to our office: MCAO Check Enforcement Program, 225 West Madison Street, Phoenix, AZ 85003. If there is sufficient evidence to prove the ID of the check writers, we will take action — including criminal prosecution — to collect the funds you are owed from the bad check writer plus a $25 merchant fee at no cost to you.
Most “first time” bad check writers will be provided an opportunity to avoid prosecution by payment of full restitution and state mandated fees. If the check writer does not make full restitution, and if sufficient evidence for criminal charges is available, criminal prosecution may be initiated. If the check writer is a repeat offender, or if evidence exists of intent to defraud from the beginning, the County Attorney will attempt to prosecute.
Bad check writers face a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail for each bad check; $2,500 in fines, restitution up to twice the amount of the check; and state mandated collection fees pursuant to A.R.S §13-1807 and §13-1810.
We encourage the victims to contact the check writer to resolve the issue of non-payment. We have provided “Demand for Payment” guidelines and example letters you can mail to the check writer. This should be taken prior to contacting the Check Enforcement Program.
If you believe a criminal act has been committed, contact your local police department. The Arizona Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division can answer your questions about civil enforcement, or can refer you to the correct agency. Please call their office at 602-542-5763.