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Consumer Protection Unit

For over 30 years Macomb County consumers have enjoyed the protection provided by the Consumer Protection Unit of the Prosecutor’s Office. Our mission is to protect the public against the unscrupulous merchants and “con” artists who prey on the unsuspecting consumer and seek justice for the victims of financial crimes.

About the Unit


Chief: Jacqueline Gartin

Deputy Chief:  Dan DeBruin

Bad check recovery

While any fraudulent or invalid check complaint can be brought to law enforcement, you have options when seeking recovery for a bad check.

Has someone written you a bad check in Macomb County?

The Macomb County Prosecutors Office is committed to protecting the people of Macomb County from financial fraud. The Macomb County Prosecutors Office does not tolerate any bad checks, however not all bad checks can be prosecuted as a crime. The first step is to determine whether the circumstances that gave rise to issuance of the check rises to the level of a crime.

Crimes: Generally, circumstances amounting to a crime are shown when a check is issued and represented by the maker to have sufficient funds on deposit for immediate withdrawal at the bank, which induces immediate action by you such as immediate performance of services or immediate delivery of goods.

For example, circumstances that will not support a bad check crime occur when a bad check is issued and presented for payment of a preexisting debt.

However, there are numerous variations of bad check scenarios, including “stop-payment” checks, or non performance of services, which must be reviewed on a case by case basis to determine if a crime was committed.

Civil recovery

You always have the option to file a civil case against the maker of the bad check

Was the check for $6,500 or less?

If the amount in question is $6,500 or less, you could file a complaint in small claims court to recover your loss. (Per MCL 600.8401, the amount increases to $7,000 on Jan 01, 2024) You do not need an attorney in small claims court. Contact your local District Court for the form and instructions.

Was the check for more than $6,500?

If the amount in question exceeds $6,500, you could hire an attorney to file a regular civil lawsuit to collect. (Per MCL.600.8401 this amount increases to $7,000.00 on Jan 01, 2024). Some attorneys may file a lawsuit for you on a contingency basis.

Report to local police department

If you believe that you are the victim of a bad check or other crime, you should report the matter to your local Police Department so that they can begin a criminal investigation. Provide as much background information as possible. You can fill out the attached consumer complaint form. Depending on the findings, they may present the evidence to the MCPO to initiate criminal proceedings in Court against the suspect. If the criminal proceedings are successful, the Judge may assign jail time or other penalty, and payment of restitution to you.