best way to reduce your losses is to avoid taking bad checks from the
start. The following tips are suggestions to help you establish good procedures
for accepting checks.
a check acceptance policy.
A clearly posted check acceptance
policy for your employees and customers can go a long way toward reducing
your losses. Policies should state which types of checks can and cannot
be accepted and include the consequences to bad check writers.
the identity of the check writer.
All I.D. can be forged. The most
reliable form of I.D. is that which contains a photo and a physical description.
Take the I.D. in hand and write the I.D. number, birth date, address and
other descriptive data on the front of the check. Ask questions. If the
I.D. does not belong to the person writing the check, they may be thrown
possible avoid accepting checks written on a new account.
Approximately 85% of all bad checks
are written on accounts only a few months old and bear check numbers between
101 and 150. Use caution. Do not accept counter drafts.
signature should be legible and signed in the presence of the individual
accepting the check.
Do NOT accept previously signed
checks. For a company check, it is vital that the signature is legible.
If not, print the individual's name on the front of the check.
complete address should be imprinted on the check.
Require a street address, in addition
to a P.O. Box number. Obtain a phone number as well.
checks only written with today's date.
Pre- or post-dated checks are
not accepted in the Bad Check Restitution Program and cannot typically
be criminally prosecuted. This restricts any recourse you may have against
the check writer if your own collection attempts fail.
sure written amounts and numbers correspond.
Banks will not honor checks with discrepancies
between written amounts and numbers.
accepting checks drawn on an out-of-state bank.
you are not required to accept a check from anyone.
If you feel uncomfortable or suspicious, trust your intuition!
Ask for another form of payment.