How can I stop a pre-authorized debit from being paid from my checking account?

You will need to notify your bank at least three business days before the scheduled date of the transfer and inform it that you wish to stop payment. You can provide the notice orally, but the bank may require you to confirm the request in writing. If the bank requires written verification of an oral notice, it will provide the address where the confirmation should be sent. The oral request ceases to be effective after 14 days if the bank requests written confirmation and the written notice is not received.

If you had authorized the merchant to charge your account and you want to stop the merchant's ability to debit the account for future transactions:

  • you should contact the merchant directly and revoke your authorization to charge your account;
  • you should keep a copy of your notice revoking authorization to charge or obtain a cancellation number; and
  • you should notify the bank that the merchant no longer has authority to debit your account. It may be best to provide the notification in writing.

If you have revoked authorization and the merchant continues to charge the account, you can dispute the transactions with the bank.

If you authorized the bank to make the transfer to the merchant on your behalf, you need to revoke your authorization to make the transfer with the bank.