Any way to cancel a Paypal friends and family payment?

I got (had) a guy with a Carfax account that would run an occasional report for a few bucks. Send him some lunch money through Paypal friends and family. Probably done a couple dozen over the last few years. Haven’t used him in a few months but sent $12 a week ago. Get no reply even after I sent him a few emails. Don’t know if he is dead, in jail or in a coma. How do I cancel or reverse the payment with Paypal? If this person never withdraws the money, what happens to it?

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Not possible to reverse, heck they won’t even look at it because they don’t receive any fees in the F&F option.

Paypal has no context about the money. A splits a lunch bill with B sent via PP. B disappears, should A get his money back? Of course not.

As for who gets B’s money, the estate manager of the decease can probably get Paypal to transfer the money with proper documenation that B has died.

It probably goes to someone who buys a Saturn with 200k miles, but with Poopal, who knows. :stuck_out_tongue:

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So if the money is unclaimed, Paypal can just keep it?

It’s subject to state unclaimed property laws.

Your worried about getting your $12 back since you didn’t get anything in return. You’ll have to sue the guy, or his estate, if you can’t get any other response from him.


For $12? HAHA, if I didn’t get any response from him, how do I contact his estate. I just have his throwaway email address so he could be anywhere in the world. The point is that Paypal would be unjustly enriched by these types of transactions although I assume it doesn’t happen very often that money goes unclaimed.

If you still think that’s the point, then you missed my point. The state would be “unjustly enriched”, since unclaimed property is typically turned over to the state after 3-ish years (as I said, subject to individual state laws on the matter).

And yes, you wouldnt file a lawsuit over $12 dollars. But beyond asking nicely, that would be the only way to get it back.


OK but its not really property. Doubt Paypal turns over anything or even keeps track of unclaimed money for 3 years. Why would they bother when they can just absorb it and nobody does anything.

Paypal doesn’t just absorb his money. It will sit in his account until he doesn’t touch it long enough that Paypal can close his account and take the money. I have no idea what it says in Paypal’s terms and conditions about what that time frame is but it’s probably a pretty long time. Either way, it’s not your money anymore, it belongs to the guy you sent it to, regardless of the fact that it is in Paypal’s system.

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Because states care since it’s a large revenue generator for many. Investors care because they want true information. Corporate management cares because they don’t want SEC violations.

Basically, PayPal cares because all of the relevant stakeholders care, and since PayPal is close enough to a bank, it’s not something where they can just say “whoops, we didn’t know about that.”

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If you sent him friends and family payments for years then the $12 is probably equal to all the PayPal fees you avoided along the way.

There’s a reason PP charges a fee for real transactions. Your experience right now is an example of a service PP provides which you didn’t pay to have access to (refunds).

FYI it’s the recipient that pays the Paypal fees, not the sender.

It’s not like they are doing this just out of the goodness of their hearts. They do make use of the funds and probably earn some interest until the money is removed. And what if you enter the recipients email address wrong? Shouldn’t there be a way to reverse that payment?

If you enter the email address wrong and the email address doesn’t belong to an account and the person with that address doesn’t claim the money, you can get them to reverse it. If the email address is associated with an account or if they do claim the money, you have to ask the person behind that email address to give your money back.

Why should Paypal just reverse a payment when the sender asks them to? They do it too much as it is with real goods transactions just on the word of the sender. You think they should start doing that on transactions that don’t even involve goods or services? That will just incentivize people to withdraw money sent to them the second it hits their account. Paypal doesn’t want people to do that.

In 99.999% of the cases it shouldn’t, but if the money is never claimed because the recipient doesn’t use that email address, or the sender types in an incorrect address, why should Paypal be allowed to hold on to it?

In the first case you listed, they don’t.
In the second case, they can’t because the person with that email address now has the money. It’s between you and that person to hash it out. What evidence do you propose Paypal asks for to determine if this is the .001% of cases where they should reverse it?
Either way, neither of those two cases apply to the situation in your OP.

Paypal can see the recipient never withdrew it. After 30 or 60 day the funds should be credited back to the sender. Isn’t that how they do unclaimed payments?

I’ve left small amounts of money in my Paypal account for more than 60 days. Why should the person that sent the money be allowed to claw it back simply because the recipient doesn’t withdraw it? Not withdrawing money from your Paypal account doesn’t mean it is “unclaimed.”

You aren’t thinking about this from Paypal’s perspective. Paypal wants people to leave money in their accounts forever. If they institute a policy that money left in an account is considered “unclaimed” then people will no longer leave money in their accounts. It makes no sense for Paypal to institute a policy like this, and even less sense if the whole reason behind it is situations like yours.

Then what is it? Paypal will do with it like any bank or business or government agency would do with your account balance when your account goes dormant and they cannot make contact with you. They turn it over to the state. Then the state holds it forever, or until you (or your heir) claims it. Every so often a post or thread about state unclaimed property databases comes around, where you can check if you have any orphaned funds you forgot about.

Paypal is not holding on to it. It’s not PP’s money and not yours either.