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Bad “Cold” Checks

Writing a Bad Check is Stealing!

The LaRue County Attorney’s Office will aggressively pursue those who write bad “cold” checks. There is no cost to someone who needs to prosecute a cold check.  If you have been given a cold check, please bring a copy of the check to our office. 

Why use the County Attorney’s Office to collect your bad checks?

  • The LaRue County Attorney’s Office will collect the face amount of the check, and also collect an additional merchant fee of $50.00 for you for each check. Defendants are also charged an additional $50.00 processing fee paid to the LaRue County Attorney’s Office at the cost of the Defendant (check writer).
  • Only this office can criminally prosecute cold check writers. Collection agencies and check service companies cannot use the criminal court system to collect checks.
  • As a law enforcement agency, the LaRue County Attorney’s Office has the ability to access more extensive and current data bases and resources than check collection agencies and check service companies.

How does the bad check program work for merchants?

  • Bring the check or fax a copy of the check to the LaRue County Attorney’s Office to 209 W. High Street, Suite 8, Hodgenville, KY 42748, any day Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or fax to 270-358-4011.  Be sure to leave your contact information if we haven’t collected from you before.
  • You should have a valid street address and appropriate identifiers such as date of birth, social security number or driver’s license number for the Defendant. These identifiers will be helpful for local law enforcement to serve the defendant with criminal charges, if necessary. Law enforcement cannot serve the defendant without a valid address or proper identifiers.
  • After providing the check, to LaRue County Attorney’s Office, a letter notifying the check writer that he/she has fourteen (14) days to pay the check and fees.  (DO NOT ACCEPT A PARTIAL PAYMENT, if you do, we CANNOT prosecute!!).
  • If the perpetrator fails to pay, our office will call the merchant to sign a criminal complaint for Theft by Deception.
  • Once the criminal complaint is signed, the perpetrator will receive a summons or an arrest warrant to appear in court. Merchants do not need to be present in court.
  • We encourage merchants to bring bad checks to our office as soon as possible if your efforts to collect payment have failed. The sooner we pursue collection, the better the results.  The statute of limitation for initiating criminal action is 1 year. (Once charges are taken the summons or warrant will be valid until it is served).
  • You should not use this service if someone stops payment on a check to you because of a dispute over the quality or quantity of work done – this would be a civil dispute.

How can you protect yourself from cold checks?

Don’t take checks!! If you must, do the following:

  • Always ask for official photo identification, like a driver’s license. Compare the official photo with the person presenting the check. Write down pertinent information such as correct address, birthdate, operator’s license number, and phone number.
  • Compare the signature on the identification to that of the perpetrator.
  • Never accept a check with only an imprinted post office number as the address.
  • If you have reservations about accepting a check, verify the check with the bank it is drawn on. You are under no obligation to accept a check.
  • Do not allow the perpetrator to put his or her information on the check; the merchant should do this.
  • Keep Records
    For your purposes, it is a good idea to keep copies of checks, forms, and any correspondence to and from the perpetrator. 

Please call (270) 358-9223 for further information!!