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Valid Reasons for a Stop Payment on a Check?
Answer by John Burnett and Ken Golliher, BOL Gurus
Guru Bios

Question:  Do you have a list of valid reasons for a stop payment on a check? I know lost, stolen, etc. I have some clients requesting stop payments because they wrote the check but don't have the funds to cover it, and others are requesting stop payments because of a dispute with work. They are trying to avoid the NSF charges of the bank.

Answer by John Burnett:  There is only one reason for stopping payment on a check: "I don't want the bank to pay it." The customer's right to stop payment is absolute if it reaches the bank in time for the bank to act. It may be helpful for the bank to know when payment is being stopped due to loss, theft or destruction of a check. In such cases, the bank wants to know if a different check will be written to replace the lost, stolen, or destroyed check (so they bounce the correct check and pay the correct one). I know that some banks adjusted their stop payment fees to make it less attractive to use stops to avoid NSF fees. Stopping payment may also not be the wisest choice for the customer, since he or she may still be liable on a stopped check in many cases, but the reason for a stop is not the bank's concern.

Answer by Ken Golliher:  Please consider that the customer did not need the bank's permission or an acceptable list of reasons for issuing the check and they don't need the bank's permission to change their mind about revoking the order to make the payment either.

First published on 10/02/06

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