Money orders provide a method of payment that bypasses checking accounts and debit cards. Two common places to purchase money orders are through the United States Post Office and Western Union outlets. Both entities provide tracking methods if the money order is lost.
United States Post Office Money Order
Locate the stub from the left side of the United States Post Office money order that you filled out at the same time you filled out the money order. The stub is easily separated by a perforated line between it and the money order. The stub includes lines where you can fill in the amount, date of purchase and who it was made out to.
Use the stub information to complete USPS form 6401 for the post office. The form asks information about purchase date and amount as well as location of purchase.
Go to post office to turn in the request and to pay the inquiry fee. As of May 2011, the inquiry fee is $5.40. Once the fee is paid, the post office tracks the money order to determine whether it has been cashed. If so, you will be provided a copy of it so you know when and where and by whom it was cashed. If it has not been cashed, the post office will issue you a replacement money order. The entire process from the time you file the inquiry to getting a replacement is four to five business days.
Western Union With Serial Number
Go to WesternUnion.com and scroll to bottom of homepage. Click on money orders which is in the second column from the left at the page bottom (as of May 2011). Halfway down the next page there is a missing money order section. Choose the link that reads "Have the serial number." It will open a form that you print. Fill in the blanks. The form requires the serial number of the lost money order, the payee's information, the agent and location from which you purchased the money order, the purchase date and the amount.
If you purchased the money order for the company you work with, or if your company was to be the payee of the money order, you fill out the second page of the form as well, which is an affidavit attesting that you represent your company and are requesting a refund on behalf of your company.
Sign the affidavit in front of a notary public. Have the notary public sign and stamp the affidavit. Banks typically offer notary services free to their customers, or you can pay a notary for service if you don't go through your bank. If you are filing the form on behalf of yourself as an individual an affidavit is not necessary.
Make a copy of the form for your records. Enclose a $15 processing fee and mail the originally completed form to Western Union Financial Services, Inc. PO Box 7030, Englewood, CO 80155-703. Once the investigation is complete, you will receive a replacement money order or a copy of the cashed money order.
Western Union Without Serial Number
Go to WesternUnion.com and scroll to the bottom of the page. Choose money orders. Halfway down page on left click the link that reads "Don't know the serial number." A form will appear.
Print the form and fill in the blanks. Enclose a $30 processing fee and mail to Western Union Financial Services, Inc. PO Box 7030, Englewood, CO 80155-703. Western Union will attempt verify the information and if so will issue a refund to you. A stop order will also be placed on the money order when the missing money order form is received.
Wait for the refund or the copy of the cashed money order to be sent to you.
Candace Webb has been writing professionally since 1989. She has worked as a full-time journalist as well as contributed to metropolitan newspapers including the "Tennessean." She has also worked on staff as an associate editor at the "Nashville Parent" magazine. Webb holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a minor in business from San Jose State University.