How to stop payment and cancel checks

There are many ways to request a stop payment, and the fee varies depending on the bank and credit union and the mode of requesting it.

stop payment
There are many ways to request a stop payment, and the fee is different for each method. Most banks have the option to request a stop payment on the online banking website, computerized telephone banking, or customer service. A stop payment on a check is valid for six months.

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Stop payment refers to the canceling of a check by instructing the bank to withhold payment. It would work only on a personal check — they are not applicable to cashier’s checks and certified checks. There are many ways to request a stop payment, and the fee is different for each method. The fee varies depending on the bank and credit union and the mode of requesting a stop payment. Below are the fees charged by some popular banks. This information is based on deposit agreements and disclosures published online.

Ally Bank 

Ally Bank charges a fee of $15.

Bank of America

Bank of America charges a fee of $30. However, it is ignored for Advantage Regular Checking accounts, Advantage with Tiered Interest Checking, Advantage Relationship Banking, and Preferred Rewards. They also don’t charge any fee for recurring debit transactions.

Chase

Chase charges a fee of $25 if you request cancellation online or on automated telephone banking and $30 if you cancel on a customer service call or by visiting a branch. The fee is not applicable for Chase Sapphire Checking accounts.

Citibank

Citibank charges a fee of $30. However, Citigold, Citi Priority accounts, and Private Bank clients need not worry about these fees.

Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union charges a fee between $20 to $25.

Wells Fargo 

Wells Fargo charges a fee of $31.

How to request for stop payment

Most banks have the option to request a stop payment on the online banking website, computerized telephone banking, or customer service. While most financial institutions charge the same fee irrespective of the mode of request, some banks charge a fee for personalized assistance.

Stop payment of multiple checks cost less at some credit unions

Navy Federal Credit Union and Pentagon Federal Credit Union reduces the fee if you are requesting a stop payment for a consecutive series. This can be a helpful option for people making regular payments as you can cancel all the checks at once, at a lower cost, if you have made mistakes on numerous checks recently instead of paying an individual fee for each check.

Renewing a stop payment 

A stop payment on a check is valid for six months. If you feel that a check might be cashed after the six-month period, you should pay a fee to renew the stop payment. Stop payment requests are effective only for a specific time period because there is much operational work to process a stop payment. When your request to stop payment is approved on a check, the check would be blocked. If — in some rare cases — the check is cleared by the bank, even after the request, the bank is liable for that payment.

This page is purely informational. Line does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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