Legal Article

How to Stop Payment on a Cheque: A Step-by-Step Guide

Shivendra Pratap Singh


High Court Lucknow


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Published on: 21 Aug, 2023


There are various reasons you might want to stop payment on a cheque. You could have issued it by mistake, discovered an error in the amount, or even suspect that the cheque might be misused or stolen. Whatever the reason, stopping payment on a cheque is a standard banking procedure. Below is a step-by-step guide on how you can go about stopping the payment.

Before proceeding, it’s essential to understand that stopping a payment on a cheque without a valid reason may expose you to legal liabilities, depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances. Always consult your attorney or legal advisor for tailored advice.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Act Quickly

Time is of the essence when stopping a cheque payment. Once the cheque is cashed or deposited and cleared, it is generally too late to stop the payment.

Step 2: Collect Cheque Details

Gather all the relevant information about the cheque:

  • Cheque number
  • Date of issue
  • Payee’s name
  • Exact amount

Step 3: Contact Your Bank

  • By Phone: Most banks have a customer service number you can call to stop a cheque payment.
  • Online: Many banks offer an online service where you can stop the cheque payment.
  • In-Person: You can also visit your bank and fill out a ‘Stop Payment’ request form.

Step 4: Verify Identity

Your bank will likely require you to verify your identity through a set of security questions or perhaps even require your account PIN if you’re doing this online.

Step 5: Provide Cheque Details

Provide the cheque details you gathered to the bank’s representative.

Step 6: Confirm and Record

The bank will usually give you a confirmation number for your request. Make sure to record this and any other details of the transaction.

Step 7: Pay the Fee

Stopping a cheque usually incurs a fee, which varies from bank to bank. Make sure you are aware of this and are willing to pay.

Step 8: Notify the Payee

It is generally considered good practice to inform the payee that you have stopped the payment and why. This is not just courteous but can also protect you legally.

Step 9: Follow-up

Some banks require a written confirmation to make the stop payment order permanent. If this is the case, follow through with the required paperwork.

Step 10: Keep Records

Maintain records of all communications and confirmations related to the stop payment for your files.

Points to Note

  1. Temporary Measure: Note that the stop payment is generally not a permanent solution. It usually lasts for six months and can be renewed for additional six-month periods, often for an additional fee.
  2. Liability: If the cheque amount is large, and stopping it results in financial loss for the payee, you could be liable for damages.


Stopping a cheque payment is generally a straightforward process, but it should be done with care and quick action. Make sure to keep records of all interactions with your bank and the payee, and be aware of any fees or legal obligations that may arise from stopping the payment.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or financial advice. Always consult with professionals for personalized guidance.


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