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How do I Place a Stop Payment on a Money Order?

Placing a stop payment on a money order requires swift action. Contact the issuer immediately, providing the money order's details and reason for the cancellation. There may be fees and forms to complete. Remember, timing is crucial to prevent the funds from being cashed. Wondering about the nuances and protections this process offers? Let's examine the steps in detail.
A.E. Freeman
A.E. Freeman

You can place a stop payment on a money order in much the same way as you would stop payment on a personal check. Contact the financial institution that issued the money order and fill out any required paperwork. If you purchased the money order at a United States Post Office, you must fill out a form at your local post office to start the stop payment and replacement process. A fee is usually involved.

A stop payment on a money order may be needed for several reasons. The person you sent the money order to may have never received it, or it may have been lost or stolen. Since money orders function differently than personal checks, it may take a bit longer for the bank or post office to issue the stop payment. The United States Post Office, for instance, must first perform an inquiry into the status of your money order before canceling it and refunding your money.

An international money order in US Dollars (USD) issued by the United States Postal Service.
An international money order in US Dollars (USD) issued by the United States Postal Service.

If your money order was from the United States Post Office, you must visit a local office and fill out form 6401. You will also likely have to pay a small fee to have the stop payment placed. Once the process is complete, you will receive a new money order, and the number of the old one will be placed on the Post Office's Missing Money Order List, which post office employees should reference before cashing any money orders.

Rules for putting a stop payment on a money order vary between financial institutions. The fees for a stop payment are usually higher at a private bank or credit union than at the post office. Some institutions will not issue a stop payment but will instead issue a refund or replacement for uncashed money orders.

There is usually a toll-free number printed on the money order receipt that you can call to inquire about a stop payment. At some banks or credit unions, you can begin the process over the phone, but will then have to go to the institution in person in order to complete the paperwork and pay your fee. Some companies that specialize in money orders have claim forms for stop payments or refunds available to download on their websites. After completing the form, you must mail it into the company with the stop payment fee enclosed.

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Discussion Comments


You cannot stop payment on a Postal money order!


I had to stop payment on a money order once because I lost it. It was in my pocket, I was on my way to pay a guy and when I got there my pockets were empty. I have no idea where it went but I know that it was gone.

I searched around frantically but it didn't seem to be anywhere. It is pretty easy to cash in a money order even if it has not been intended for you so I knew that I had to stop payment immediately or any old person who found it on the street could take the money. Luckily I got it canceled in time and I was only out a few bucks and a little bit of dignity.


How much easier or harder is it to stop payment on a money order when you buy an online money order? I have used these a few times in the past because they are a lot more convenient than going into the store and buying a money order. But at the same time I wonder if I might be increasing my chances of being defrauded. Is it harder to stop payment on one of these?


I had to do this once when I bought a car from a guy using a money order. I paid him what I owed him and then took possession of the car. Well, it ended up breaking down a little over a mile from where I had picked it up. And I could tell that whatever was wrong with it was a big fix.

Luckily I had the number for the money order company and a copy of my receipt. I called them immediately and stopped payment and then called the guy who I bought the car from and explained what I had done. He was actually pretty cool about it and he did most of the fix on the car for free.

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    • An international money order in US Dollars (USD) issued by the United States Postal Service.
      By: Dvortygirl
      An international money order in US Dollars (USD) issued by the United States Postal Service.