A stop payment order with a bank in the U.S. is effective for six months.  The six month time period before a stop payment expires requires the bank customer make the stop payment in writing, verbal orders will expires after 14 days if not confirmed in writing.  After the six month time frame, the account holder can extend the strop payment by renewing it for another six months.  Unfortunately, most banks will charge a stop payment fee for the initial stop payment request and for each six month renewal period.

 A stop payment order is a binding request to cancel a check that has been written but not yet deducted from the account holder’s checking account.  Following a properly executed stop payment request by a customer, the bank is obligated to honor it including any renewal periods.  If a stop payment order is properly recorded but the bank cashes or honors the check anyway, the bank could be liable for damages.  Section 4-403 of the Uniform Commercial Code contains rules regarding stop payment orders that have been adopted by most states.

The process for placing an order will vary from bank to bank however, most banks will generally require that the customer provide information about the check number, the payee name, the amount of the check, and the date the check is written.  Banks will also charge different fee amounts for placing the stop payment order which will vary by institution and may also vary by state or region.

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