Notice to Bank to Stop Payment of a Check/More Info

 Notice to Bank to Stop Payment of a Check  
Additional Information
Anyone with a checking account is guaranteed by law the right to order his or her bank to stop payment of a check. This right is set out in article 4-403 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) as adopted by a given state.  Two versions of this law have been adopted by each state over the years, with the later version adding some clarity to the earlier one. The basic rules are (subject to modification in a given state): 

 ·  The stop payment order may be given orally or in writing.  An oral order is good for only 14 days. A written order (like this form) is good for 6 months, unless renewed in writing.  

·  In the interest of time, the original order should be given orally, followed quickly by a written order.  Time is critical, so deliver your written order in person or by fax.  Use the mail only as a last resort.  Keep evidence of the date of delivery, such as the confirmation slip from your fax machine.   

·  Both the oral and written orders must describe the check with reasonable certainty and be given promptly enough to allow the bank to act.  The notice should include the bank account owner's exact name, date, payee name (person the check is made out to), and check number.  If you do not recall any of this information exactly, supply the information as best you can. 

·  If more than one person is authorized to sign checks or draw on an account, the stop payment order usually needs to come from only one of the authorized individuals.  Ask your bank what it requires to make sure your order is effective.  If time is critical, at least one authorized signer should give  the stop payment order, followed as soon as possible by a written order with all required signatures. 
A proper stop payment order that is timely received must be honored by the bank.  In other words, the bank must not pay the check or debit your account.  If the bank improperly pays contrary to your order, the bank is liable for your loss. 

Take Care
It is important to remember that these rules only regulate the way stop payment orders are handled between you and your bank.  If you write a check and then stop payment without good reason, you may create civil or even criminal liability for yourself.  For example, if you pay the grocery store with a check and then stop payment without justification, the grocer can ask that you be prosecuted for passing a bad check, or sue you in civil court.   

Make sure that you have a good reason for stopping payment, such as default by the payee, fraud, failure to deliver the proper goods, or other significant problem. 

Bank Fees
Remember that your bank will impose a fee for providing the stop payment service.  The fee is usually at least $10 per check, but can be much higher.  Banks will sometimes waive the fee for their "good customers".  Ask your banker if you can get a waiver.