"Ret Dep Item" is the standard shorthand format for a returned deposited item in your checking account. This notation means that a check that you deposited was rejected by the issuing bank because the originator didn't have necessary funds in his account. Other reasons a deposit may not clear the originating bank include a missing signature, stopped payment or closed account.

Additional Returned Deposit Details

Even if you didn't recognize that the issuing account had no funds or that the check wouldn't clear, you normally bear a burden as the depositor. First, your bank likely charges a fee from $15 to $25 for the returned check. Additionally, the bank reverses the deposit, which is a significant problem if you've already used the funds, which most banks make available at the time of deposit.