The Heron Lake Police Department encourages all businesses and citizens alike to use safe check acceptance procedures. By doing so, the Police will be in a better position to assist you with bad checks. The Heron Lake Police can only investigate and prosecute cases where checks were issued within the City Limits of Heron Lake. The police department can not act as a collection’s agency for recovery of NSF checks, pursuant to laws regulating private and commercial collections agencies. (332.33 Licensing and Registration of Collections Agencies) To assist you, it is important that everyone is aware that the Heron Lake Police can only accept the following types of worthless checks for investigation and prosecution purposes:
- NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) – Not enough money in the account to cover the check. The account holder actually wrote out the check.
- Account Closed – the check passer had a checking account at the bank where the check is drawn from but closed it and continues to write checks after the account is closed.
- No Account – the person who writes (passes) the check never had a checking account at the bank. Usually this type of check will be a “counter” check (non-personalized style).
- Forgery – Either signature (the writer’s, who is also referred to as the “passer” or the endorser’s on the back of the check) has been forged.
Additionally, for the Heron Lake Police to successfully investigate and prosecute worthless checks, the recipient must have taken the following steps when receiving the check:
- You must have identified the passer by a valid picture ID or personally know the individual passing the check. If you cannot properly identify the passer, the prosecuting attorney cannot prosecute the case. Acceptable picture ID is considered to be: a state issued driver’s license or photo-identification card. Birth certificates, library cards, student identification cards, etc. are not picture ID’s.
- The picture on the ID must be the same as the person passing the check to the recipient.
- The check must be initialed by the store clerk who checked the ID and accepted the check. This helps identify the person needed to testify in court as to the identity of the passer.
- The clerk must write down what type of picture ID was presented at the time the check was passed.
The Heron Lake Police Department is happy to provide instruction on check cashing procedures and identification methods; as well as procedures necessary for prosecution of worthless checks. Please feel free to contact us at (507) 793-2231