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What to do when a deleted credit item is Re-inserted

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Consumers who have successfully removed negative items from their credit files must continue to monitor their credit reports in case the creditor re-inserts the negative item. Credit repair is only the beginning step in obtaining good credit scores. Once you have taken steps to repair your credit you will keep a close watch on your credit report.

If you dispute an item from your credit report the credit bureaus have 30 days to complete their investigation pursuant to your dispute. If the item cannot be verified within 30 days the credit bureaus must remove it because they are not allowed to maintain information that is unverifiable. Consumers may misinterpret a negative item being removed as a permanent resolution. However, if the item is verified on day 31 or any day afterwards, the credit bureau can reinsert the item in your credit reports.

Even though you may be successful in disputing and getting a negative credit item deleted, it could be re-inserted. But the credit bureaus must notify you within 5 days of the re-insert date.

If a previously negative item is reinserted the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires the credit reporting agency to notify you no later than five days after the date of reinsertion. This FCRA requirement is not always practiced. Additionally, the creditor who reinserts the negative item must also certify the information is correct.

Three options when a negative item is Re-Inserted

1. Request a new investigation and dispute re-insertion. A simple letter is sufficient:

“On (date) I discovered (negative credit item and account number) had been re-inserted into my credit file. You are required to notify me within five (5) days of re-inserting a previously deleted item. I did not receive any such notification. Please delete this item immediately.”

Simple and straight to the point works well. You do not have to quote the FCRA. Save that for later if you have to threaten to file a lawsuit.

2. Make a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The complaint can be against the credit bureau and/or the creditor. Both will not ignore an inquiry from the CFPB.

3. File a lawsuit against the creditor for re-inserting the item under the Fair Reporting Credit Act (FRCA). It is unlikely a creditor, collection agency or furnisher of information will have the accurate documentation to support re-inserting the negative credit item, especially since the item had been previously deleted. The creditor will not likely take time to deal with a lawsuit just to re-insert information they probably cannot back-up anyway.

In the case of a negative item resurfacing after the FCRA’s reporting periods have expired, you have the leverage for the credit reporting agencies to delete the negative information immediately. Notify the credit reporting agencies that the reporting period has expired and they will remove the negative tradeline.



  1. Nora

    August 29, 2017 at 8:16 am

    I had an acct removed from my credit report last year which was about 8/9 years old.Just a few days ago I received a letter informing me that the very same acct was bought from another collection agency and will be reinserting it to my credit report within 30 days. What should or can I do?

    Thank you

    • Lisa Phillips

      August 30, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      First, don’t panic. Keep in mind that unpaid debt can resurface as long as it remains unpaid. However, once a debt reaches the statute of limitations (depending on the state where debt was incurred), the debt becomes legally uncollectible. But that does not keep debt collectors from coming after you. Unpaid debt can be sold from debt collector to debt collector until paid.

      What a creditor or debt collector cannot do is insert the debt on your credit reports after the 7.5 credit reporting period has been reached. The 7.5 year reporting period is determined by the date you first became delinquent on a debt and no further payments were made.

      Typically a negative account, such as a charge-off or collection account can remain on your credit report for 7.5 years from the date of first delinquency. If the 7.5 year reporting period has not passed, the debt can be reinserted on your credit reports.

      Since the debt is 8 or 9 years old, it should not currently be on your credit reports and cannot be reinserted. The debt collector may be trying to get you to pay by threatening to reinsert the debt. They may also be trying to get you to state you will make payments in order to restart the state of limitations.

      I can only suggest that you monitor your credit reports and do not agree to pay the debt or even acknowledge you owe the debt. As far as you are concerned you are unaware of the debt.

      In the case of a negative item resurfacing after the FCRA’s reporting periods have expired, you have the leverage for the credit reporting agencies to delete the negative information immediately. Notify the credit reporting agencies that the reporting period has expired and they will remove the negative mark.

  2. Thomas Cardone

    February 27, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Last week I noticed 3 Collection accounts came off my credit report for TransUnion however I looked today they were reinserted when can I expect some kind of notification from the credit bureaus that these accounts for reinserted up on my credit report? Also I believe they were originally taken off of my report before the seven-year period here in California does that make a difference if I decide to try and fight this?

    • Thomas Cardone

      February 27, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      Also if it makes a difference it’s Portfolio Recovery Services and I know nobody likes them LOL

    • Lisa Phillips

      March 20, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      Reinsertion can occur but only under certain circumstances. For instance, if a disputed item is inaccurate or incomplete or cannot be verified within the 30-day time period of the dispute, it is deleted but the creditor is also notified of the deletion. At that time the creditor then has the chance to certify that the information is actually complete and accurate.

      If any information that has been deleted is reinserted in the file, the credit bureau must notify the consumer of the reinsertion within 5 business days after the reinsertion occurred. It must be written notification, unless the consumer has authorized another form of communication.

      Being in California should not make a difference when a negative item is due to be removed from your credit reports. Some consumers have found that Transunion will do an early exclusion by about 6 months of a negative item but you must request early exclusion. It’s not a dispute of an item, it’s a telephone call asking a Transunion rep to remove an item that is due to be deleted from your credit reports several months earlier.

  3. Lori

    January 12, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Under the article written 09/23/14 What to do when a deleted credit item is Re-inserted… My question is: Would this also pertain to public records in a credit report that were removed and then reinserted?

    Thank you.

    • Lisa Phillips

      February 17, 2017 at 12:56 am

      Under normal circumstances reinsertion requires a notice to the consumer if verified by the furnisher of information (creditor). But with a public record, the “furnisher of information” is the public record. The credit bureaus obtain public record information from their own review of public records, and not through reporting from a court. It’s a rather grey area where credit bureaus are verifying current public records.

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