Code 38 - Refer to maker is assigned by the financial institution receiving the original check. 

"Refer to maker" should only be used in extraordinary situations where the other three specific reasons (NSF, account closed, or endorsement missing) do not fit the reason the check is being returned. Some financial institutions tend to abuse the "refer to maker" reason by applying it to every check they return no matter the reason. 

In addition to the three reasons mentioned above, "refer to maker" can be used if: 

  • The account holder of the check placed a stop payment 
  • The person who wrote the check forgot to/didn't sign it or an unauthorized person signed the check 
  • A special condition for a check, such as two signatures, was not fulfilled 
  • The bank believes the check is fraudulent (banks usually/should check with customers before returning the check) 

The member could put stop payments on the original checks and reissue new ones.  The credit union could also issue corporate checks from the member's account to replace the returned checks.