Help Us Stop Bad Checks
Each year in America, victims of worthless checks lose hundreds of millions of dollars. Writing a worthless check drawn on non-sufficient funds or closed accounts is a crime. This form of theft is a major contributor to retail bankruptcies. Our Check Enforcement Unit can help you stop this theft and protect you and your business.

What are the kinds of checks we can and can’t recover?
Under Alabama law, we can only recover certain checks. We cannot help recover checks that were written for a lease, rent or loan payment, or for a cash advance where a contract of any kind was signed. Filing a claim in small claims court may collect checks such as these. You may wish to consult your attorney.

We also cannot help recover checks that are stamped by the bank with STOP PAYMENT, IRREGULAR SIGNATURE, FROZEN ACCOUNT, FROZEN FUNDS, or FORGED. Checks that are stamped with IRREGULAR SIGNATURE or FORGED should be reported as forgeries to your local police department, the Mobile City Police Department or Mobile County Sheriff's Department.

We CAN help recover bad checks that meet these criteria:

  • Recovery initiated by payee within one year of the check date;
  • Transaction took place in Mobile County;
  • No payments made on the check;
  • Check processed by the bank and stamped with one of the following reasons for its return unpaid: NSF, REFER TO MAKER, ENDORSEMENT CANCELLED, ACCOUNT CLOSED or NO ACCOUNT FOUND.

How to Start the Recovery Process:
If the check is stamped NSF, REFER TO MAKER or ENDORSEMENT CANCELLED:

  1. Use the U.S. Mail to send a certified notice (see below) with return receipt requested to the check writer.  This notice must be sent to the address on the check and must give the check writer 10 business days from the receipt of notice to make the check good. If the check is from a business, the notice must be sent to the person who signed the check. A fillable .pdf form can be used by clicking here.

  2. Save the green card that will be returned to you by the post office after the notice has been delivered.  You must give the check writer 10 business days from the day the notice was delivered to pay the check and the service fee to you. Do not accept less than the full amount requested in the notice because once partial payment is accepted it becomes a civil matter and cannot be criminally prosecuted. If the notice is returned to you "Refused" or "Undeliverable", do not open it and, do not throw it away. Follow steps 3 - 5.

  3. Fill out the Worthless Check Information Sheet with as much information about the check writer as you can provide.  It can be printed or you can request a copy by calling us at 574-5775. After printing and completing the sheet, attach the check to the top left hand corner and the green card from the post office to the back. A fillable .pdf form can be used by clicking here.

  4. Mail the completed form to us at P.O. Box 1605, Mobile, 36633, or drop it off at our office on the fifth floor of Government Plaza. If you would like to review the form with us or get any other assistance, we will be glad to talk with you by phone or to set up an appointment at our office. Our phone number is 574-5775.

  5. Do not accept payment from the check writer once the check has been filed with our office.  Payments must be made to the Check Enforcement Unit only. Under Alabama law, you must pay a $30.00 fee if you or someone from your business takes a payment on a check that is filed with our office.

If the check is stamped ACCOUNT CLOSED or NO ACCOUNT FOUND, a certified mail notice is not required.  Follow steps 3 - 5 only.

After You Take These Steps, We Will Do The Rest.
We operate with the full authority of the Mobile County District Attorney's Office and the laws of the State of Alabama. If, after 6 weeks, you have not received a check from our office, please call to determine the status of the recovery effort on the check(s) you reported. Also, if you would like a monthly print out concerning the status of your check(s), we can mail, fax, or e-mail this information upon your request.

How We Treat Worthless Check Writers
We are firm and polite in our enforcement of checking laws. Our Check Enforcement team members can help bad check writers who cooperate by arranging payment plans. They can also refer counseling to those individuals who need to learn how to be more responsible in their use of checks. In addition to working with people who cooperate, our Check Enforcement Team is also experienced in skip tracing, arresting, and prosecuting those who choose not to cooperate.

Helpful Hints That Can Speed Bad Check Recovery

  • Obtain as much information as possible about check writers, especially a complete address.
  • Write the driver's license and phone number of the check writer on the check.


Check Requirements and Affidavit
(.pdf)


Check Letter