What to do if you have lost a check?

If you write a check and it is lost or stolen, you will need to act quickly to protect your finances. Although there are some exceptions, it’s usually best to report it to your bank immediately and stop the payment if it hasn’t been collected yet. But don’t worry, we’ll tell you exactly what to do if you have lost a check.

1. Contact your bank and stop payment on the check

If you suspect that a check has been lost or stolen, you should first contact your bank. If the check has not yet been cashed, then you can request that it be stopped. This is a formal request so that the bank does not honor the check if it is deposited or presented for cashing. The suspension of payments on personal checks usually lasts up to six months.

Typically, you can request a stop payment by calling your bank or visiting a branch. Some financial institutions also allow you to do it online.

To stop payment on a check, you’ll need to know the check number, the exact amount of the check, and who it was made out to. If you present that information incorrectly, the check could still be cashed.

Keep reading: How serious is credit card fraud and identity theft?

What to do if you have lost a check?

2. Consider the cost of stopping payment

Fees for stopping a check can range from $15 to $35. Some banks don’t charge customers who have premium accounts and others don’t charge if the checks that were lost or stolen were blank.

You should be prepared to pay the fee for stopping the check. Also, you may have to pay for it again if you can’t find it during the six-month retention period.

Remember to weigh the amount the check was written for against the need to stop payment. If the amount of the check is less than the fee you’ll pay to stop it, it’s probably not worth stopping.. Remember that the rate they apply is per item, so if several checks were stolen, you will have to pay more money than you initially thought.

3. Consider other options

Stop payments can be a good solution when you know of a check that got lost in the mail. But maybe you want to check out some other actions as well.

If you suspect criminal activity, you will also need to file a police report. If you believe the check was stolen from the mail, you should report it to the Inspector’s Office United States Postal Service General.

If they stole your whole checkbook, or if you suspect fraud, then you may want to consider freezing or stopping your account, or closing the account entirely and opening a new one. Each bank has different policies, so it’s a good idea to contact a representative from your bank to review your options..

Keep reading: How long it takes Bank of America to make check deposits, transfers and more

4. Beware of identity theft

Losing a check can be just as dangerous as losing an entire checkbook or credit card, the risk of identity theft is the same. If this happens to you, You should carefully review your credit reports over the next several months.

You can request that they include an alert in the credit reports so that the bank makes a call to you before giving you a loan. You could even freeze your credit. If you are thinking about buying a house or a car soon, it may not be very convenient. However, with this decision, you could be saving your credit report and avoiding big problems in the future.

If you become a victim of identity theft, you’ll need to protect yourself so you can dispute the charges with the bank and get your money back. The website of the Federal Trade Commission, will guide you through the steps you can take to protect yourself based on your circumstances.

Keep reading: What is a checking account or checking account?

What to do if you have lost a check: preventive measures

If you take the necessary steps to avoid losing checks or having them stolen, you will be saving yourself a lot of headaches.

First, try not to write checks if you don’t have to write them. Most banks and credit unions offer online banking services, many transactions can be done online, which completely eliminates the need to write checks.

If you have to write checks, treat your checkbook like cash. Keep it at home in a safe place. If you are going to send a check by mail, it is better to send it by certified mail, always depending on the amount of the check.

But the most important thing you can do to prevent this from happening is to monitor your checking account daily so you can identify any fraudulent activity or charges. This can save you time and a lot of money in the long run.

now that you know what to do if you have lost a check, we recommend you stay calm and take the necessary measures. Good luck!

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