May 6, 2008
JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that his Bad Check Restitution Program has reached an important milestone by returning more than $1 million in revenues to Will County businesses.
The program, which State’s Attorney Glasgow enacted in 2005 shortly after he took office, has collected $1,053,097.85 and returned it to Will County businesses. This represents restitution collected on a total of 16,402 bad checks that were written for goods and services provided by local merchants and service providers over the past several years.
Through the program, restitution has been collected on behalf of Will County’s smallest local businesses as well as on behalf of some of the nation’s largest retailers that operate locally.
“The bad check restitution program has been incredibly successful for Will County businesses that have taken advantage of this free service coordinated through my office,” Glasgow said. “It’s important to note that this program isn’t only for large businesses. We’ve collected restitution on bad checks worth as little as few bucks for local mom and pop operations. Every dollar counts in today’s tight economy. I want to make certain that our local businesses continue to thrive.”
The state’s attorney recognized that local businesses have been losing thousands upon thousands of dollars each year as a result of bad checks. So in 2005, Glasgow contracted with the firm American Corrective Counseling Services to begin collection efforts on these checks.
The collection service is free to businesses. First a letter is sent to offenders asking them to repay their debts plus a fee, which covers the cost of the operation. In exchange for a full payment, the state’s attorney’s office agrees not to prosecute the offenders, who also are required to attend remediation classes at their own expense.
The program showed immediate results upon being implemented. In its first six months of operation, the state’s attorney’s office collected $133,540 in restitution. In 2006, the number rose to $418,401.58, and in 2007 the office recovered an additional $420,316.29. In the first two months of 2008, Glasgow’s office returned another $80,839.98.
“This is an outstanding program for businesses being offered through the State’s Attorney Office,” said Russ Slinkard, president and CEO of the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “It provides a means of seeking recovery of what would otherwise be lost revenue to a business, and does it at absolutely no cost to the business seeking collection assistance. We appreciate the work of State’s Attorney Glasgow in establishing and operating the Bad Check Restitution Program and feel that the revenue recovered to date certainly justifies his effort.”
While Glasgow is extremely pleased by the program’s success, the state’s attorney urged more businesses to seek restitution by taking advantage of this free program.
“You can do more than post bad checks that represent your losses on a Wall of Shame,” he said. “Seek restitution for the goods and services you provided in good faith. No business is too small. No check amount is too tiny. Let my office help you out.”
For the simple, step-by-step instructions on how to use the program and to obtain the necessary report forms, visit the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office Web site at willcountysao.com and click on the Bad Check Restitution Program menu at the left. Or call the Bad Check Restitution Program hotline at (866) 801-4885.
Charles B. Pelkie
(815) 530-7110 (cellular)
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