Scoured the web for an answer but couldn't get the exact info I need. Hope someone here can help. We accepted a cheque for services given just before xmass, I banked it with the others as usual. Early January the cheque is returned to us with "payment stopped" on it. I called my bank, but they have no access to the info. on why it was stopped. I believe payment stopped is not the same as "bounced" (???) so lack of funds is not the reason. We informed the client, who said she would pay up. After 2 months she hasn't paid up, in fact after that intial exchange about the cheque she now refuses to communicate with us at all, and clearly has no intention of paying. 99% sure lack of money is the not the issue, she seems to have an issue with the service, although what that is is not clear to us. According to the cheque rule, she doesn't have a leg to stand on. The initial cheque is a contract and promise to pay. The info on the web seems clear on this, regardless of her reasons for stopping the cheque, she has to honour it. We can sue with the expectation of an easy decision in our favour. Now here is the thing. Upon looking at the cheque I see that the amount in words does not match the amount in the number box, the word amount is higher by 20 pounds and incorrect. The amount in numbers is correct and what she actually owes us. Everything else is ok (the date, signature etc). Curse myself for not checking the cheque when I took it from her - but having taken loads of cheques before I tend to assume my clients know how to write a cheque properly. Needless to say all cheques are scrutinized carefully now before banking. So our current guess is that the bank or the client stopped the cheque because of this discrepancy. I don't know the procedure, would the client's bank call her first and ask her if she wants it stopped or ask her what the proper amount should be? Or is it stopped by default? According to one website (a USA one) the amount in words is the "legal" amount, and that overrules the amount in numbers, the number amount is written voluntarily. I have no idea about the situation in the UK. So if we go to the courts, what happens? Am I at fault for unknowingly accepting a incorrect cheque (like unkowingly accepting a forged bank note maybe) and the case is thrown out? Seems ludicrous that I would be, because people would be writing similarly incorrect cheques in the hope of not having to pay for anything. Or, does the cheque rule still apply? My gut feeling is that she has to pay up, but I want all my info clear before we take her to small claims. Any advice much appreciated.