How to Stop Payment on Money Orders

by on February 21st, 2011
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Overview
Money orders are financial instruments that guarantee payment. They are more stable than a personal check and are typically universally accepted. Paying for a product or service with a money order gives you an instant, indisputable proof of purchase. Once you decide that the good or service is not as advertised you can attempt to stop payment on the money order. Each issuing company has their own protocol for this process. Be aware that in most instances, the issuing company will allow the recipient to cash the money order and leave you to recoup your money in court.

Part 1 – Commercial Money Orders

Step 1
Read the fine print on the back of the duplicate of your money order. Look for a website, phone number or physical address where you can contact the issuing company. Contact the company and provide the pertinent information. Request stop payment on the money order. The company may decide to issue a temporary stop payment order at this time.

Step 2
Wait for the necessary forms to be sent to you. Fill out all of the paperwork the company sends to you. Do not leave out any information.

Step 3
Provide a valid reason for wanting to stop payment on the money order. Obvious fraud or defective products may be a valid reason. Remember that the issuing company is not obligated to stop payment. You may be forced to seek restitution through the courts.

Step 4
Gather together all of the forms along with your other information and a copy of the original contract. Send these documents to the company and wait for a response. Contact the company to follow up on your request after 30 days. Keep track of everyone you speak to in the course of your follow up.

Part 2 – Postal Money Orders

Step 1
Notify the Money Order Division of the U.S. Postal Service if the money order is lost or stolen. Contact them within 24 hours of discovering the loss. Ask that payment on the money order be stopped. Request that a duplicate money order be issued to cover the exact amount on the original money order.

Step 2
Provide proof of purchase along with your request. Make a copy of your receipt from the post office that shows when and where you purchased the original money order. Wait for the new money order to arrive. Make a copy of the new money order for your records. Continue your original transaction using the new money order.

Step 3
Do not cash the original money order if it should turn up after you submit your request. Notify the postal service as soon as you locate the original money order. Write void across the front of the original money order with permanent ink. Avoid writing on the identification numbers when voiding the money order.

Step 4
Write a letter describing the process you entered into with the postal service concerning your lost money order. Explain the fact that the original money order was lost and you found it after filing your claim. Make a copy of the original money order and your letter of explanation. Send the letter and original money order to the Money Order Division of the U.S. Postal Service.

Warnings
Fraud is a felony. Be completely truthful in all financial dealing to avoid fines, financial losses and incarceration.

Reference
Questions & Answers; Placing Stop Payment on Money Order; Banking Questions; 2008
Postal Service; Part 762-Disbursement of Postal Money Orders; Electronic Code of Federal Regulations; 2011


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