Canceling a check after itâ€™s been lost or stolen is undoubtedly a stressful situation. It can be made even more stressful by the fact that you have to act quickly once youâ€™ve discovered a check is missing â€” you can only cancel it so long as it hasnâ€™t been cashed first. These are the five steps youâ€™ll need to take if you have to cancel a check.
You can only cancel payment on a check if your bank hasnâ€™t paid it yet. Before you try to cancel a check, review your online bank account to see if the check has been posted in your transaction history. If the check hasnâ€™t cleared yet, youâ€™ll need to act fast to call the bank or submit a request to cancel online â€” especially if you suspect the check was stolen.
Again, speediness is key when youâ€™re trying to get a check cancelled before itâ€™s been deposited. Before you contact your bank, you should have the following information available to you:
You may also need this information at the ready:
Before a check can be cancelled, you have to give your bank notice either orally or in writing (depending on your bankâ€™s protocol). If youâ€™re not sure what the best way to contact your bank is regarding check issues, try making a request online, at the branch, or by calling the phone number found on the back of your card. If the check hasnâ€™t already been processed, you should be in luck. As soon as the bank authorizes your request, the check should be canceled immediately.
Cancelling a check may save you money, but it will also cost you. Most banks have fees associated with putting a stop payment on a check. Before you cancel the check you should ask your bank about fees. Here are some of the check cancelling fees associated with popular banks.
|Bank fees for canceled checks|
|Bank of America||$30
Waived for: Customers with Advantage Relationship Banking, Advantage with Tiered Interest Checking, Advantage Regular Checking accounts and Preferred Rewards.
|Chase||$25 if paid online or by automated telephone banking.
$30 if paid during a customer service call or at branch.
Waived for: customers with Chase Sapphire Checking.
Waived for: Customers with Citigold and Citi Priority accounts and Private Bank clients.
Waived for: customers with TD Relationship Checking & Savings, TD Premier Checking, Private Tiered Checking and Private High Yield Savings accounts.
Waived for: customers with Performance Select Checking.
|U.S. Bank||$35 for general customers.
$20 for Premium and Platinum Checking customers.
$0 for members of the military.
If you need to cancel multiple check, some banks (such as Navy Federal Credit Union and Pentagon Federal Credit Union) may give you a discount. Cancelling multiple checks at once may not cost that much more than the first cancellation.
Do note that just because a check has been cancelled, this does not mean the cancellation is permanent. Generally, stop payment orders last around six months, though sometimes they can last a year or longer, depending on the bank. Make sure to review the fine print regarding when the cancellation order ends so you can renew it for another period. Although, most banks donâ€™t cash checks that are older than six months, you may want to renew the cancellation period as an added precaution.
If a stolen or missing check is cashed before you cancel it, there are still steps you can take to protect yourself. If you report a fraudulent check to the bank, even after itâ€™s been cashed your bank may remove the charges, if the fraud is reported to them in a timely manner.
The recurring theme of the day? Act quickly when you suspect a check is lost or stolen in order to take advantage of any check cancelling options that may be available to you.
If you believe youâ€™ve been tricked by a counterfeit check scam, after youâ€™ve dealt with your bank directly you should report the fraud to the following agencies: