What Does Return to Maker Mean on a Check?

Return to maker is commonly written as refer to maker and means that the person who was given the check needs to refer or return to the original writer of the check in order to learn why the check was not accepted or was returned. Checks will sometimes be returned with a RTM stamp, which requires the recipient of the check or the depositor of the check to contact the person who wrote the check originally.

If the writer of the check is not sure why the check was returned, then the writer or maker of the check will need to contact their bank in order to determine why the check could not go through. The receiver of the check will be unable to contact the writer or maker’s bank in order to find out due to security reasons. Additionally, any check that has been stamped with an RTM cannot be redeposited.

Plastic money via credit cards and debit cards have become increasingly common with the volume of check processing declining, according to the Federal Reserve study of non-cash payments, from $30.5 billion in 2006 to $24.5 billion in 2009. Checks are often still used because they can help to create a better record of a purchase than a plastic payment can. Many people like to keep a detailed record of payments made to friends, relatives, small charities, home repair contractors and other small or micro businesses.