Deadline Coming for Writers of Bad Checks

The 10th Circuit Court District has set Mar. 8 as a tentative deadline for people with bad check charges to make good on their debts.

Between now and then, residents who have outstanding bad checks in Lauderdale, Kemper, Clarke and Wayne counties are advised to contact the district attorney's office.

"It's just like stealing if you think about it," said
Assistant District Attorney Lisa Howell.

Howell says the D.A.'s office is pursuing locals who are guilty of writing bad checks.

"If you take a DVD player without paying, you've stolen that DVD player," said Howell.

Since late January when officials from the district attorney's Bad Check Unit first announced the bad check roundup, about 15% of the outstanding debts have been paid. However, with four counties involved, there are still hundreds of cases still open.

"You've gotten a notice from the bank and you've gotten one from us," Howell said. "So, you know. And if you are concerned about it, just call the office and Shirley will look to see if you owe anything."

Believe it or not, some of the outstanding bad checks are for as little as $5. The fees on those checks are currently up to about $80.

However, if the individuals responsible for the bad checks don't come in and make arrangements to pay them before their case is turned over to the district attorney's office, those fees could jump to well over $200 or $300.

If arrangements are not made by Mar. 8 to rectify the problem, all of the bad check cases for Lauderdale, Kemper, Clarke and Wayne counties are expected to be turned over to the District Attorney, and this could result in arrests.

"I hate it, but they will pick you up when you have your children in the car," said Howell. "They sometimes come to your employers and it's embarrassing and you could possibly lose your job over something like this. So, it's just best to take care of it early."

The number for the Bad Check Unit IS is 601- 484-3990. It's located on the third floor of the Lauderdale County Courthouse. Officials say they are willing to work with offenders, but they must contact the office before their files are turned over to the D.A.