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How to void a check that was lost, stolen, or damaged

A restaurant owner writing a check to one of her vendors.

Papers. You can’t live with them and you can’t put them all through the shredder. Take checks, for example, many businesses still depend on them as a widely accepted payment method. But at the end of the day, checks are just small pieces of paper.

And, as we all know, there are many things that can happen to random papers. They can be misplaced, mistaken for trash, and stained or damaged by spilled drinks. They can also fall into the wrong hands due to mail delivery issues, errors, or malice.

If something like this happens to one of your checks before it’s deposited by your vendor you will probably need to void it and resend the payment to avoid missing your due date. Below, we’ll explain how to do that, what information you’ll need, and how to make things much easier.

You’ve got two options

Voiding a check that’s already out of your hands can be a cumbersome and expensive process. That is, unless you’re using a service like Melio to manage your payments.

In this article, we’ll list the steps you need to take to void a check using the traditional method through your bank. We’ll also outline the simple, secure way to void a check on Melio in just a few clicks.

The traditional method of voiding a check

Voiding a check through your bank isn’t very complicated, but it does require you to take several steps that include contacting the bank, submitting a stop-payment request, paying any necessary fees, and following up.

1. Check the status of your check

You can only void a check that hasn’t been cashed or deposited yet. So, the first thing you need to do is make sure of that. This requires checking your most up-to-date bank statements, either online or by contacting your bank.

2. Gather the necessary information

To void a check you will need to provide the bank with the following:

  • Your account number
  • The check number
  • The exact amount on the check
  • The date on the check
  • The recipient’s name
  • The name of the person who signed the check (if that’s anyone other than you)

3. Submit a stop-payment request

After you have all the required information, you’ll need to submit a stop payment request. Once submitted, if anyone tries to cash or deposit your check, the bank will have to decline it.

Start by calling your bank or checking its website to find out about its relevant policies. Some banks allow you to submit a stop-payment request through your online account, while others may require you to call during business hours, send a written request via email or fax, or even arrive in person.

4. Approve associated fees

While some offer the service for free, most banks charge a fee for stop-payment requests which can amount to $30 or more. This fee needs to be approved by you and debited from your account before the request can be processed. So, make sure there are no fees pending that can result in blockers.

5. Renew the request if needed

Stop payment requests are typically valid for six months. This is normally enough time as even if your check did get into the wrong hands, it is unlikely a culprit will wait this long to try and cash it. And, most banks won’t accept checks that are older than six months, anyway.

If you’re still worried though, you can always ask your bank to renew your stop payment request for an additional period. But, be aware that you’ll likely be charged an additional fee.

The Melio method of voiding a check

Imagine that instead of going through this entire process, you could void your check in just a few clicks. With accounts payable (AP) tool Melio, you don’t have to imagine.

When you send a check through Melio, voiding it when needed is as simple as one, two, three:

  1. Find your payment on Melio, click the Void check and resend payment button.
  2. Choose how you want to send the new payment then review and confirm the details.
  3. That’s it! There are no additional steps or hidden fees.

With Melio you don’t have to sweat it

By using Melio to manage your payments, you can rest assured that voiding a check will be just as easy as sending one. Simply sign in to Melio and reschedule your payment in just a few clicks. It’s that easy.

Don’t have a Melio account yet? Sign up today to reduce the hassle that comes with managing your business payments.

*This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice.
**Melio does not provide legal, tax or accounting advice, and you should consult with a professional advisor before making any financial decisions.