We ported the number off of my wife's phone one month ago. Last night, I tried to sell her perfectly good Env Touch to another person only to be told that it has a "Bad ESN." After talking to customer service (the people in the store are useless) the woman told me that I should have called before porting the number so that we could use the phone again later or sell it to someone else. I can't find this in writing anywhere!
The worst part is that I DID call and tell them that I was porting my mother-in-law's phone number off of my account to another carrier and the person never made mention or offered to deactivate the phone so it could be reused! The call was made only 5 hours before being told that my wife's phone had a bad ESN. This is STEALING....I paid for these phones outright.
My mother-in-law's phone is now the 3rd one off of my account to be bricked by VZW. Customer service is unwilling/unable to fix the problem.
I'm ready to start a class-action if this happens to people all of the time. [Edited to comply with Terms of Service]
From what I've read, the phone will stay blocked until you pay any final pending charges for the line. It may take one or two billing cycles for the charges to come through, and then register as paid. Once the line is closed and marked as paid in the Verizon system, your phone should be clear to activate on another line.