What Does Return to Maker Mean on a Check?

Return to maker is often written as “refer to maker.” It means that the person who was given the check needs to go back to the person who wrote it to find out why it was not accepted or returned. Checks are sometimes sent back with an RTM stamp, which means that the person who receives or deposits the check needs to get in touch with the person who wrote it.

If the person who wrote the check doesn’t know why it was returned, that person will need to call their bank to find out why the check couldn’t be processed. Due to security reasons, the person who gets the check won’t be able to call the bank of the person who wrote or made it to find out. Also, you can’t re-deposit a check that has been marked with an RTM.

According to a study of non-cash payments by the Federal Reserve, credit cards and debit cards have become more common as the number of checks written has dropped from $30.5 billion in 2006 to $24.5 billion in 2009. Checks are still often used because they help keep a better record of a purchase than a credit card or debit card does. Many people like to keep detailed records of payments they make to friends, family, small charities, home repair contractors, and other small or micro businesses.


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