5 Ways To Stop Automatic Payments From Your Bank

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Setting up automatic payments can certainly make bill payments easier. But once they’re set up, some recurring payments can be a hassle to stop, depending on the merchant or financial institution that has been given the payment authorization.

Automatic payments that are set up through a bank or credit union may be much easier to cancel than authorization given to a merchant, such as a gym or subscription service. However, any automatic payment can be stopped.

Here is how to stop automatic payments coming out of a bank account.

How To Stop Automatic Payments

Remember that stopping an automatic payment will not cancel a service or loan. Before stopping any recurring payment, be sure to either cancel the service or verify how to make manual monthly payments to avoid late fees and prevent possible credit score damage. Here are five ways you can put an end to automatic payments:

1. Turn Off Automatic Payments

Most financial institutions and some merchants allow customers to cancel automatic payments through their online accounts in the same manner through which the automatic payments were initially set up. 

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2. Revoke Authorization

If an automatic payment cannot be canceled online, contact the company that has been authorized to automatically withdraw payments and give notice that permission is being revoked. Some merchants may have a Revoke Authorization form.

Other merchants can be contacted by phone or mail and, in some cases, may require both. Send the letter by certified mail, and keep a copy. If possible, obtain and record a cancellation number from the merchant.

Give the bank documentation of the revoked authorization. If the merchant continues to charge the account despite the revoked authorization, further transactions can be disputed with the bank.

3. Issue a Stop Payment Order

A stop payment order instructs the bank to no longer allow a merchant to automatically take payments from an account even if a revoked authorization notice has not been given.

The bank’s policy for stop payment orders is typically outlined in its deposit account agreement. Fees may apply to stop payment orders.

4. Submit a Complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

If neither the merchant nor the financial institution has stopped the automatic payments after receiving notice of the revoked authorization, file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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A complaint can be filed through the CFPB website. The CFPB will discuss the dispute with the bank and report any findings.

5. Close the Bank Account

One final way to stop an automatic payment is to close the account from which the automatic payments are being withdrawn. Do not merely withdraw all funds from the account, as this can trigger an overdraft and fees if the automatic payment goes through.

While this solution might not be convenient, it will end the automatic payments.

Takeaway

Knowing how to stop automatic payments is essential in today’s digital world, where so many merchants allow for autopay and some even provide discounts with automatic payments. Regardless of which method is used to stop an automatic payment, monitor the account from which the payments are being withdrawn to ensure the payments have ceased.

If the steps have been correctly followed to revoke a payment authorization, further payments to the merchant can be disputed with the bank. Do not set up any new automatic payments without finding out how to cancel them if necessary.

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FAQ

Here are answers to some common questions about stopping automatic payments.
  • How do I stop recurring payments?
    • First, contact the merchant directly by phone or mail to revoke the recurring payment authorization. If the company does not comply, issue a stop payment order with the bank funding the payments.
    • One of these two methods should stop the payments. If not, file a complaint with the CFPB or close the bank account.
  • How do I stop an automatic payment on my debit card?
    • A customer can stop an automatic payment from a debit card by revoking authorization with the merchant withdrawing the payments or issuing a stop payment order with the bank.
  • How do I stop automatic payments from my TD Bank account?
    • First, revoke authorization from the company that is withdrawing the automatic payments. If necessary, the account holder can make a stop payment request by logging into EasyWeb on the TD Bank website.
  • How do I delete an automatic payment?
    • Many automatic payments that have been set up via an online account can be removed in the same manner. If not, the merchant or financial institution can be contacted by phone or mail to revoke authorization for the automatic payments.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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About the Author

Andrea Norris has been in the web publishing business for the past 15 years both as a content contributor and a copy editor specializing in personal finance, frugal living, home and auto topics. She writes both short and long-form content and is well-practiced in SEO keyword research and writing.
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