ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Cancel a Check

Updated on April 3, 2015
Cancelling a check can be well worth the hassle if it saves you a significant amount of money later.
Cancelling a check can be well worth the hassle if it saves you a significant amount of money later. | Source

A surprising number of people either never learned how to properly cancel a check, or learned how to do so incorrectly. Unfortunately, in certain circumstances either situation can lead to rapidly mounting bank fees, accidental overpayment and even a substantially elevated risk of identity theft. The fact is, cancelling a check is a bit more complex than many people ever realize; fortunately, if you follow these simple steps, you will never need to worry about an improperly cancelled check coming back to bite you.

# 1: Locate the Check

By the time you realize you need to cancel a check, it is usually too late to get it back. Fortunately, most major banks now offer online banking portals that make it easy for you to log in to your account and locate a printable copy of the check you wrote. If for whatever reason that is not an option, recording all relevant details about the check (including its number, date, who you wrote it to and how much it was for) is better than nothing.

Finding all relevant details about the check you wish to cancel will make the cancellation process much simpler.
Finding all relevant details about the check you wish to cancel will make the cancellation process much simpler. | Source

# 2: Talk to the Bank

Once you have located all of the relevant details about the check you wish to cancel – and ideally, an actual copy of the check itself – you are ready to contact your bank. In some cases, you will be able to handle this process over the phone, but in others, you will need to actually go to one of your bank’s branches to sign documents to ensure that the check is properly cancelled. In addition to the details about the check, the bank will generally need your name, account number and routing number.

You may be able to talk to your bank over the phone or through an online contact portal about cancelling a check, but you may need to actually meet with them in person.
You may be able to talk to your bank over the phone or through an online contact portal about cancelling a check, but you may need to actually meet with them in person. | Source

# 3: Study Financial Institution Regulations

To save time and hassle later, you may wish to research your bank or credit union’s policies on check cancellation. Some specifics will vary, but no matter what financial institution you use, you will not be able to cancel a cashier’s check or an ordinary check that the person or organization that received it has already cashed. For checks that are eligible for cancellation, your financial institution may charge you a fee to handle the process.

You can often cancel a personal check, but not a cashier's check.
You can often cancel a personal check, but not a cashier's check. | Source

# 4: Keep Records

Your bank will likely want to add your reason for cancelling the check to their records. The amount of detail they will require, and how long the cancellation process will take, will vary significantly from one financial institution to another. In case the process drags out, make sure that you keep copies of all documents you give your bank, and that you maintain records of all details of phone or face-to-face conversations, along with the names of everyone with whom you speak.

The more detailed the records you keep before and after you cancel a check, the easier the process will be.
The more detailed the records you keep before and after you cancel a check, the easier the process will be. | Source

# 5: Follow Up

In most cases, a cancellation or stopped payment for a check lasts for six months. Although this will usually not be necessary, you may need to re-cancel the check after that length of time has passed to ensure that the payee does not try to deposit it again. Your bank will be able to advise you on whether this is necessary in your situation.

You may sometimes need to repeat the process of cancelling a check after six months to prevent it from being cashed or deposited then.
You may sometimes need to repeat the process of cancelling a check after six months to prevent it from being cashed or deposited then. | Source

Final Considerations

Cancelling a check is always a hassle, but it is certainly preferable to the hassle of dealing with fraudulent charges on your account or even identity theft. Understanding the check cancellation process and the steps it involves ahead of time can help substantially decrease your inconvenience.

How often do you write checks?

See results

References

Wells Fargo: “Orders, Copies, and Other Requests Questions”

TD Bank: “How Do I Cancel a Check?”

New York Times: “Stop Payment. Now Stop It Again”

Intuit Quickbooks: “Void, Cancel, or Recall an Assisted Payroll Check”

Bluebird: “FAQS”

What other advice do you have for safely cancelling a check?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)