Many of us have found ourselves in a situation where we need to void a check but don’t know how. It can be a stressful situation, especially if you’ve already signed the back of the check. In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about voiding checks safely and securely, so you never have to worry about it again.
What’s a voided check?
A voided check is a check that has had all of its financial information removed. This means the amount, date, and payee are no longer accessible to anyone who may have access to your paper or digital copy of this document.
The only thing on the check will be a thin line that runs through any previous markings. Voiding checks is critical if you want to protect yourself from check fraud.
Fraud is a huge problem, and it’s only continuing to grow. This is because there are many ways that you can commit check fraud without any of the parties involved ever knowing about it. People need to do all they can in order to prevent themselves from falling victim.
Five ways fraud can be committed using your checks:
- Falsifying the payee
- Altering the amount
- Forging your signature on a blank check
- Changing information in an online account to increase or decrease funds
- Using a fake ID to cash checks drawn from another person’s account, usually with their knowledge and consent but without their permission
Who should void a check?
The person who originally wrote the check is responsible for making sure that it has been appropriately voided. This is important because, while you can void a check before the payee cashes it, once they receive payment for this transaction, it becomes their property and cannot be canceled or changed in any way.
It’s also important to understand that if a bank cashes a voided check without realizing it’s a voided check, the bank is not liable for any transactions you didn’t authorize.
You will need to void a check if:
- It’s written on an account that has been closed.
- There is no money in the bank, and you don’t have enough funds from your other accounts or credit cards.
- The amount of the check doesn’t equal what was authorized by whoever it came from (e.g., you authorized a $500 check, and the person wrote you a $300 check).
- The amount of the check is more than what was initially agreed upon.
Why should you void your check?
Protecting yourself from fraud should be a top priority because it is critical to keep our money safe at all times. Furthermore, if someone else has access to your checks and decides to change any of the information on them, you could be held liable for those changes. Even if this was not your intention, it could still have an impact on your bank account and credit score, which will only lead to more problems in the future.
There are many reasons why it’s crucial to void your checks, such as:
- It will help protect you from fraud or identity theft. If someone else tries cashing in on your check, they (and you) will be held responsible for the funds taken out of the account. If there is a zero balance in that account when someone tries to cash it in, then no money can come out, and both parties are safe.
- It’s good practice if you want any record or evidence of an old transaction gone (for example, if you’re going to close an account and don’t want it tied back to your name).
- If someone has mistakenly written a check for too much money or the wrong amount, then voiding that check will ensure they can’t be held liable. It is always better to play safe than sorry.
The importance of voiding a check properly
There are numerous reasons why you should void your check. One of the most important reasons is that it leaves a digital trail. Because there should be no previous markings on your voided copy, if someone has their hands on your check and changes any information, this will show up in the void process.
This means that only you or someone authorized to look at your checks can make these changes, which will come in handy if there is a problem in the future.
The second reason for voiding your check is to protect yourself from unauthorized access to your account. This means that once this check has been voided, the only person who will see its details is you or someone you have authorized, such as a bank representative.
It’s also critical that people void their checks if they’ve misplaced them and no longer need to be cashed. This ensures that whoever finds the check will not have access to any of your personal information or money.
The fourth reason why voiding your check is essential is because many businesses will reject voided checks as payment. This is because some financial institutions will note that a check has been voided as paid and then deposit the money into your account, which can confuse the business you’re attempting to pay with this check if it’s already been processed by their bank.
How do I void a paper check that hasn’t been cashed yet?
Voiding a paper check that hasn’t been cashed is quite simple, but it all depends on where you bank.
For example, if you’re with Wells Fargo or Chase, then the process can be done online using your checking account information and personal identification number (PIN), along with other details found within your banking profile. Once entered into their online banking platform, voided checks will become unreadable and therefore unusable.
If you’re with a local bank or credit union, then speaking with them in person is the best way to go about voiding your check before it’s cashed by someone else. You can also call their customer service line and explain what needs to be done so that they can void it out for you.
Here are five simple steps to void any check online through most online banking platforms:
- Log in to your account
- Click on the “Payments” tab
- Find the check you want to void and click “Edit Payment”
- Scroll down and find a box that says “Void Check”
- Click on it, then confirm by clicking “OK.”
Another method is simply writing “VOID” or something similar across the front of the check with a black permanent marker, which will prevent it from being used as a transaction.
How do I void a lost blank check?
For those who have lost their checks and want them voided before someone else cashes or deposits the money into an account, it is critical to contact the bank as soon as possible. First, you should request new checking account information and have your previous account closed.
Next, speak with a bank representative in person and inform them that you want your old checks voided.
Steps for Voiding Checks:
- Call or visit the bank so that they can close out your account and give you new information.
- Speak with a member of the banking staff in person about voiding your checks.
- Get new checks, and a new account number after your old ones have been voided.
If your bank allows account holders to void a check online, this is the best way to go because it can be done in minutes without having to call customer service or visit your local branch. Some banks also allow checking account holders to print out voided copies of their checks for their records.
If you don’t bank online, the next best option is to visit a local branch or call customer service. However, many banks will provide their account holders with multiple options for voiding a check; however, not all will. This is why, before proceeding with the process, it is critical to ask about your bank’s options and the method they prefer you use.
How do I void a check that has already been cashed?
A check that has been marked as cashed cannot be voided. However, if either party made a mistake, the transaction can still be reversed. To finish this process, contact your bank or credit union right away and explain what went wrong in the original transaction. They may be able to reverse the transaction if they determine that something was done incorrectly.
Note: There is nothing you can do if you are attempting to void a check that has already been cashed without any issues or problems on your end. Requests to reverse transactions after a check has been marked as paid will not be honored by the bank.
Introducing a safe and secure eco-friendly credit card
If you’re looking for a credit card that will help minimize your environmental impact while improving social implications, look no further than Aspiration Zero. This eco-friendly credit card will reward you and the planet every time you make an online purchase.
Whether it’s part of your New Year’s resolution or not, now is the perfect time to start living more sustainably by using Aspiration Zero as your everyday companion for everything from groceries to clothes shopping. Interested? Apply for Aspiration Zero today!