The 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Worthless Check Unit (WCU) was created to collect restitution for victims of bad check writers. The WCU is designed to assist merchants and small businesses in collecting payment on bad checks, aims to conserve law enforcement resources and to educate worthless check writers about the consequences of their crimes. The WCU is a free service offered at no cost to victims who receive worthless checks.
The WCU program is a self-supporting unit under the control and supervision of Solicitor Jimmy Richardson and is a joint venture between Horry and Georgetown Counties and the Solicitor’s Office. Operational costs are recovered from the offenders, not victims and taxpayers.
What is the Worthless Check Unit?
The WCU is a diversion program within the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office to provide for the collection and distribution of restitution to victims. The program transfers the collection process from the victim to the Solicitor’s Office, eliminating much of the victim’s time and expenses associated with collecting on bad checks.
The WCU will:
- Mail all correspondence.
- Collect restitution, service fees and all other fines and assessments.
- Disburse restitution and serve fees to victims.
- Prosecute bad check writers if they do not pay restitution costs.
Before Accepting a Check
- Make sure the check is signed in your presence.
- Make sure the date and amount are correct.
- Request a driver’s license ID and record the number and the issuing state.
- Compare the driver’s license ID address with the address on the check.
- Request a date of birth.
- Verify a physical address if the check has a P.O. Box listed as the address.
Discouraging Worthless Checks
The 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office Worthless Check Unit Offers 4” X 6” signs for you to post at your business to help discourage people from writing worthless checks. When full restitution for a worthless check is made, a check from the Worthless Check Unit will be sent directly to you for the full amount of the check in addition to all legally approved service charges. In the event you change your address after submitting a worthless check for collection, please notify the office.
Checks that qualify for the WCU are those:
- Given for labor (payroll checks) or personal services.
- Given as payment for merchandise, cash or services.
- Deposited by victim within ten (10) days of receipt.
- Returned by the bank due to insufficient funds; closed account; stop payment order.
- Received in Horry or Georgetown counties.
The WCU cannot process:
- Bad checks that were postdated.
- Bad checks involving an agreement to “hold” the check.
- Bad checks when the person accepting the check had reason to believe the check was not good at the time of receipt.
- Forged or stolen checks; check drawn on fictitious accounts; or checks with signature irregularities.
WCU is a FREE service for victims of worthless checks. Victims decide which bad checks to submit for collection.
When you receive a worthless check and it meets program requirements, you can submit the check and complaint form to the Solicitor’s Office for collection. The form is available for download in the CONNECT section of the website. This relieves you of the burden of the traditional collection and prosecution process.
Once you submit a worthless check to the WCU, do not accept payments in any form the worthless checks writer. This will void collection and prosecution efforts. All contacts with the check writer concerning the worthless check must be made by the WCU.
When the WCU receives a bad check complaint and restitution is not made in accordance with the legal requirements, a criminal charge will be filed. The Solicitor has full statutory direction concerning the prosecution of your worthless check complaint.