How to Stop the Stop-Payment Costs on a Check

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The easy way to avoid stop payment fees on checking accounts is to ask for a fee waiver from your bank.
The easy way to avoid stop payment fees on checking accounts is to ask for a fee waiver from your bank. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

When you request a stop payment on a check you are requesting that your bank refuse to honor a draft presented to it by an individual or company. There are many reasons for requesting a stop payment, from cash flow problems to an inaccurate check amount. Fees are generally associated with a stop payment request. Major U.S. financial institutions charge anywhere from $18 to $50 to process the request. You can avoid this fee by shopping around for an account at a bank that offers no-fee accounts or a limited amount of fee waivers per account per year.

Shop around to see what fee options different banks offer. Many banks will provide products that have few or no fees attache to some accounts, depending on the account type and the likely daily balance. These accounts generally come with provisions for waiving a set numbers of fees incurred throughout the year.

Close the account, instead of requesting a stop payment on a check. Keep in mind that all account holders are expected to uphold ethical and moral responsibilities. Closing the account should only be used in appropriate situations. An example of such a situation would be when a check has been lost or stolen. In this case, there is no intention of fraud, and a third party is prevented from receiving funds to which they have no proper claim. Most banks will waive fees associated with closing an account for which checks have been lost or stolen.

Ask the bank manager or customer service manager for a refund or waiver of the stop payment fees. Banks have become more customer-friendly as competition for deposit accounts intensifies. It never hurts to ask for a courtesy fee waiver especially if you have a long-time relationship with the bank or local branch.

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