Milwaukee County, along with 28 other counties across the state of Wisconsin at the time this is being written, is participating in a program run by a company called Financial Crimes Services (FCS).
According to an introductory letter published by Milwaukee County District Attorney John T. Chisholm as part of a packet with information on the program, the main goals of the program are:
- Restitution for victims
- Increase accountability of people who issue worthless checks
- Educate and assist Milwaukee County merchants and residents in reducing the number of worthless checks written
- Reduce the costs for investigating and prosecuting worthless check cases
The restitution program process, in a nutshell, works like this:
1) Checks are entered into the FCS system
2) Check writers are then contacted by the FCS restitution program. From there, three scenarios are possible:
A) The bad check writer pays the Check Diversion Program - 100% of the face value of the check is returned to the merchant plus any bank fees the merchant incurred, if applicable. The offender then completes a financial counseling program.
B) The check writer fails to pay. If this happens, the check is sent for prosecution review and proceedings.
C) If the check is not at the prosecutable limit, the check writer is red-flagged. The system will then notify if more checks are entered, and the prosecution review is done again.
Checks eligible for the program:
NSF, Account Closed, Stop Payment, Refer to Maker, Business to Business, Rent, Debit Card Chargebacks, ACH NSFs, and Electronic Checks received within Milwaukee County that do not exceed $2500.00.
IF YOUR CHECK EXCEEDS $2500.00, PLEASE REPORT TO LAW ENFORCEMENT.
Worthless checks LESS THAN 120 DAYS from the date issued by the check writer are also eligible. An exception to this is that first-time program users can send checks up to two (2) years old.
Checks NOT ELIGIBLE for the program:
- Promissory notes and/or arrangement to hold the check for deposit or credit extensions
- Second-party checks
- Payroll checks
- Checks that are currently in collections by a collection agency or attorney (law firm). An exception to this is that checks can be forwarded to the program after the agency has sent them back.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS HELPFUL PROGRAM, CONTACT YOUR LOCAL MUNICIPAL LAW ENFORCEMENT, OR CALL FINANCIAL CRIMES SERVICES AT 1-800-906-8182.