Special Notes

Payroll Checks: You may not ordinarily file a complaint with us if you received a check as a payroll disbursement and it was dishonored by the bank. You should contact the Texas Workforce Commission at 1-800-832-0243 to determine what recourse is available to you. You may also be able to file a complaint for Issuance of a Bad Check with the Justice of the Peace.

Stop Payment Checks: When a customer directs a bank to stop payment on a particular check, the bank is required to refrain from paying the check. If you receive a check for merchandise and the bank returns the check because of a stop payment order, you may be able to file a complaint against the check writer for theft.

Under Texas law, a check written for merchandise and later not paid because of a stop payment order requires that a special stop payment demand letter be sent. The law gives the check writer
10 days to either return the merchandise or pay the check. Your acceptance of the returned merchandise is not optional. If you get the merchandise back, you may seek compensation for any degradation in the value of the merchandise through the civil courts.

Checks given to pay Debts: In most cases checks given to pay pre-existing debts do not meet the requirements for a theft charge. We do not have debtor prisons and your only recourse is to sue in civil court for the debt. We cannot attempt to put someone in jail for their failure to pay their debts even if they attempt to do so with a bad check. There are times when a Class C Misdemeanor charge of Issuance of a Bad Check can be filed, even on a check written to pay a debt, but the law does not allow for the filing of a Theft by Check case.

Post-Dated Checks, Held Checks, and Drafts: If you willingly accept a check in exchange for merchandise or service and agree to hold it until a later date you have extended credit to the check writer. These checks or drafts do not qualify as Theft of Check cases because you are relying on a promise to pay at a later date. Your recourse is to sue in civil court.

Third Party Checks: In most cases in which you gave merchandise or services in exchange for a check made payable to someone other than yourself or your company, you may not be able to file a complaint with the Check Division. In these instances it is often impossible for us to establish which of the parties had the necessary intent to commit theft. However, we are willing to investigate the case and make a determination of whether or not we can prosecute the check.