How To Tell Bank To Block Charges

Florence Desiata

Mistakes and miscommunication sometimes happen when making check clearances or auto-debit transactions. You can contact your bank and request that they block those charges.

In this article, you’ll learn the process of how to initiate stop payments. 

How Can Banks Block Charges? 

You can request your bank for a stop payment. It allows you to prevent payment on a recurring debit transaction or a check that the bank hasn’t processed yet.

To block payments, you need to notify your bank immediately, and they may charge you a fee. Most banks charge somewhere between $15-$35.

Steps on How to Request For A Stop Payment 

Requesting to block charges is straightforward. It can vary from one bank to another, but the general steps are: 

Step #1: Revoke Authorization to the Company

A revocation letter informs a company to stop the automatic payments for the service they are providing you. 

Always prepare the name of the company or merchant, your account number, and the payment amount(s) and date(s).

Pro tip: If you want to stop future payments completely, your bank might ask you to request this in writing. Ensure to provide it within 14 banking days of your verbal order.

Step #2: Contact Your Bank

Prepare the revocation letter to show to your bank. Give the order for the stop payment at least 3 business days before the scheduled payment date. You can give the order via phone (to a real person, not a voice recording), in writing, or in person.

Sometimes, you won’t need a revocation to request a stop payment. It’s best to know the policies of your bank.

A Quick Tip for Stopping Future Payments

If you want to stop future payments completely, your bank might ask you to request this in writing. Ensure to provide it within 14 banking days of your verbal order.

Bank Fees On Stopping Payments 

Here’s a list of some of the major banks in the country and their fees. Notice that some give discounts or don’t charge at all, depending on the type of account.

BankStop Payment FeeFee Waivers and Discounts
Capital One$35.00$25.00 for Capital One 360 Checking
Bank of America$30Waived for Interest Checking
Citibank$30.00Waived for Citigold®, Citi Priority, or Private Bank clients
Wells Fargo$31.00N/A

All these options are favorable if you’re looking for stop payments for less or even for free.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I avoid fees?

The best way is to double-check the information you will write on your checks, including the recipients and the amount. This way, you’re ensuring you don’t need to request a stop payment in the future. 

Will a stop payment for a service cancel my contract with the company?

Discontinuing automatic payments doesn’t cancel your contract with the service company. You still need to pay them. If you want to cancel the contract, you must inform them and follow their policies, including paying any cancellation fees. 

Can You Stop Payment On Money Orders and Cashier’s Checks?

Cashier’s checks and money orders are prepaid forms of payment. They work differently from personal checks, so you can’t stop payments on them. When you are issued any of these, the funds leave your account immediately, not when that check or order is cashed out.

You can cancel these transactions, which would take 90 days or more, and lots of documentation. 

The Bottom Line

Stop payments will always help block unwanted charges. But to make life less stressful, regularly check your bank account to see if there is any unauthorized activity.

Communicating with your banking institution can be time-consuming, so monitoring your accounts and knowing the schedule of payments is best. 

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