How Can You Place A Stop On A Check?

How can you place a stop on a check? Occasionally, you may write a check and then realize you shouldn't have. When this happens, you have the option of putting a stop on the check. Occasionally, you may...

Occasionally, you may write a check and then realize you shouldn't have. When this happens, you have the option of putting a stop on the check.

What are some reasons why people will want to put a stop on a check?


"They weren't satisfied with the service, for example, or they realize they don't have the funds in the account to support the check," offers Steve Twirago, personal banker with Chase Bank.

Customers who fear they are victims of fraud sometimes request stop payments. If you have given out your account number for an over-the-phone check and then realize you shouldn't have, the bank can do their best to stop the transaction.

What does a stop on a check do? The answer is very simple.

"It prevents a check from being cashed," explains Twirago.

Modern banking is done by computer. This makes it is easier for your bank to catch the check you are trying to stop, but you must act fast.

If you feel you need to stop a check you have written for whatever reason, you simply need to pick up the phone and contact your bank. You will need to give them some information in order for the stop payment to go through.




"Call the bank with the check number, the dollar amount, who it was made out to, and reason it is being stopped," says Twirago.

Bear in mind a stop on a check will cost you a fee. Twirago says the fee averages around 20 to 30 dollars and recommends you check with your particular bank to find out what fee you will be charged. Though the fee may seem steep, it is better than losing a larger sum of money if the check were to be cashed.

Stops on checks are not guaranteed to work. It may depend on how quickly you phone your bank about stopping the check.

Twirago warns, "It takes a business day to process. If someone cashes the check on the same day you request the stop pay, it (the check) will go through."

In the event the check goes successfully through the system, there isn't much your bank can do.

"If you actually authorized the transaction, (i.e. you wrote the check; it wasn't stolen and fraudulently written) there isn't much the bank can do at that point," states Twirago.

If you can't remember the exact amount of the check you wish to stop, you may run into some trouble. Occasionally, the check will slip through if the amount is not exact. This is a good reason to always record every detail of each check as soon as it is written.

A stop payment will not help you in the event you wish to cancel or void a debit transaction.

"They can't do stop payments on auto debits. That is between the customer and the vendor," explains Twirago.

Though the need to stop a check may not come up very often, it's nice to know the option is available should the need arise. Knowing exactly what to do when you need to stop a check from being cashed gives you the knowledge to act quickly.

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