Column allows customers to programmatically return checks issued at Column. Checks deposited at Column cannot be returned by Column customers - they can only be returned at the issuing bank.

Issued Check Returns

Checks are returned for a variety of reasons, most commonly for insufficient funds in the payer's account. Column requires customers prefund an account prior to issuing checks, thus preventing NSF returns. For most return reasons, a BOFD may attempt to re-clear the check. If re-cleared by the BOFD, the check can be returned a second time. Thus, a single check transfer can have multiple returns associated with it.

User Initiated Returns

A check payer has the ability to initiate a check return after the check has successfully cleared (in settled status) if the check was not authorized (return reason Q) or is suspected counterfeit (return reason N). Column will hold the returned fund for 2 days in case the return gets dishonored.

Column Auto-Returns

Column will automatically return checks for a number of reasons including check number not found, positive-pay mismatch, and account number not found. Column will also automatically return checks that have stop payment instructions.

Deposited Check Returns

Checks deposited at Column can be returned by the issuing bank. If a check is returned with return reason A (NSF) or return reason B (UCF - Uncollected Funds Hold), Column will automatically attempt to reclear the check. If a reclear attempt succeeds, Column will mark a check settled. If a reclear attempt fails, Column will mark a check returned. For all other return codes, Column will immediately mark a check returned without a reclear attempt.

Valid Return Codes

Code  Description
A     NSF - Not sufficient funds
B      UCF - Uncollected funds hold
C    Stop payment
D      Closed account
E     UTLA - Unable to locate account
F      Frozen account - account has restrictions placed on it by either the customer or bank
G     Stale dated
H      Post dated
I     Endorsement missing
J      Endorsement irregular
K     Signature missing
L      Signature irregular - suspected forgery
M     Non-cash item
N      Altered/fictitious item - suspected counterfeit
O     Unable to process such that critical payment information is missing
P     Item exceeds stated max value
Q     Not authorized
R      Branch or account sold
S     Refer to maker
T      Item cannot be re-presented (exceeds number of allowable times the item can be presented)
U     Unusable image - image could not be used for required business purpose
W      Cannot determine amount - amount cannot be verified
X     Refer to image - return reason information is contained within the image of the item
Y      Duplicate presentment. Supporting documentation shall be readily available
Z     Forgery - an affidavit shall be available upon request

Notifications and States

When a check transfer is returned, Column creates a check return object. Check return objects do not have webhooks, as events are mapped to those on the check transfer object. Below are the states a check return object may go through.

Stage             Description
Scheduled            For incoming debits (checks issued by Column), a return has been user initiated or received from the BOFD. The check transfer is in a pending return state. For outgoing debits (checks deposited at Column), the check transfer is in a deposited or settled state.      
ProcessedAn incoming debit (check issued by Column) has been returned by Column or an outgoing debit (check deposited at Column) has been returned by the issuing bank. The check transfer is in a returned state.