220-06
HANDLING AND COLLECTION OF RETURNED CHECKS (COURT)

POLICY & PROCEDURE

Subject:

HANDLING AND COLLECTION OF

RETURNED CHECKS (COURT)

Index: Finance (Court)

Number: 220-06

Effective Date

5/1/2003

Supersedes

N/A

Page

1 of 2

Staff Contact

Joe McGuire

Approved By

Jesse Tanner

1.0 PURPOSE:

To establish a policy regarding the handling and collection of returned checks in Municipal Court.

2.0 ORGANIZATIONS AFFECTED:

Renton Municipal Court

3.0 REFERENCES:

RCW 3.02.045(5)

RCW 19.16.500

RCW 62A.3-104

RCW 62A.3-515

4.0 DEFINITION:

Returned Check: Any check, money order, cashier's check, or traveler's check that is dishonored and returned unpaid to the Court.

5.0 POLICY:

5.1    It shall be the policy of the Renton Municipal Court that any check returned unpaid through the Court's bank will be considered a fair and owing debt to the Court.

5.2    All returned checks will incur a $20.00 handling fee. This fee will cover the bank costs and processing fees associated with handling a returned check. Additionally, a returned item may be subject to collection fees and interest as prescribed by RCW 62A.3-515, RCW 19.16.500, and RCW 3.02.045(5).

5.3    Returned checks will be held in the Renton Municipal Court for a 15-day grace period. The Court will send a letter to the maker notifying them of the 15-day grace period. During the 15-day grace period the maker may redeem the item with guaranteed funds for the face value plus the $20.00 handling fee.

5.4    Payment for returned checks are to be made only to the Court cashier. It is the responsibility of the customer redeeming a returned check to inform the cashier if a payment is being made to redeem a returned item.

5.5    At the expiration of the 15-day grace period, returned checks will be referred to the Court's designated collection agent. Once a check has been referred to the Court's collection agent for processing, the court may no longer accept payment for that item, and the check must be redeemed with the collection agent.

6.0 PROCEDURES:

6.1    When an item is returned from the Court's bank, it will remain in the Court for handling. All returned items will be redeemed either through the Court or, if the allowed grace period has expired, through the Court's designated collection agent.

6.2    Fifteen days from the date an item is returned, it becomes eligible for referral to the Court's designated collection agent. During the 15 days, the maker of the check may redeem the check from the Court at face value and incur the $20.00 processing fee. Once a check has been referred to the collection agent, the cost of redemption will increase in accordance with RCW 19.16.500 for those fees applied by the collection agent. Additional charges, added by the collection agent, will be paid by the debtor.