There is a company called "Telechek" you can subscribe to that
lets you know if someone has a "history" of bad check writing. I
do not know how to contact them but most merchants use their
services so ask around..
I use Telechek in my store. I can tell you on thing about them,
they are not cheap. My monthly charge runs about $70, which is a
minimum. I don't presently take in enough checks to exceed the
monthly minimum. If you are interested, I have their number at
work and can give it to you tomorrow (Thurs).
BTW, I know the police in my town will chase after bad checks
for me. I don't know if that is standard practice or if it's
just because I'm in a small town. Also, joining the Jeweler's
Security Alliance will keep you posted on traveling crooks,
complete with mug shots, aliases and descriptions.
Most people who pass bad checks are locals who can't balance a
checkbook, so getting a list from all over the country probably
won't help you much. One of our local convenience stores has a
bulletin board of checks that people have bounced in his store,
recommending that no one accept checks from those people. You
might talk to other local merchants to see if they keep a list
they would be willing to circulate.
Hope this helps.