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‘Hot’ checks not cool for merchant
Wilson County NewsOctober 10, 2012 | 1,398 views | 1 comment
Tom Ray of Ray Foods LLC, which owns Poth-based Wiatrek’s Meat Market, says that his company has “hot” checks dating back at least five years. He brought his concerns to the Wilson County Commissioners Court at its Oct. 8 meeting.
Ray expressed concerns about the county’s efforts to seek repayment from individuals and companies that leave local merchants with checks returned for insufficient funds. County Attorney Russell Wilson said checks for less than $1,500 are turned over to his office, which refers the matter to one of the four justice courts.
From there, Wilson said a certified letter is sent, advising the check writer to satisfy his or her obligation or face arrest. The information also is logged in Texas Department of Public Safety’s Failure to Pay Program, preventing the scofflaw from renewing his or her driver license until the matter is resolved.
Ray urged the commissioners to have sheriff’s deputies or constables to be more aggressive in the service of hot checks warrants.
Wilson said that the county previously had a sheriff’s deputy who was dedicated to prosecuting hot checks writers. However, when the hot checks department was no longer self-sufficient, the deputy was reassigned to regular duty.
“If you have a conversation with the other business people in your area, such as through the chamber, encourage them to contact their constables as well if they have the same problem,” Wilson County Pct. 4 Commissioner Larry Wiley said. “We don’t have the authority to tell the constables what to do.”
“I need to know that as a merchant in this county, that I don’t need to be playing this game anymore,” Ray said.
The commissioners court discussed several other items of business during this meeting. See related article, page 1A.
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