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Verizon sent me to collections after my ex-wife passed
Enthusiast - Level 1

I opened an account for Fios in 2009 when I got married to my now ex wife. In 2012 we got divorced. I then moved out of the house where I had service and eventually relocated to California from the east coast. My ex-wife continued to pay the bill on her own up until August of last year when she passed away from cancer. I did not know my name was still on the account despite not living at that residence for 10 years.
Then in June of 2021 I get a collections letter. Confused I call Verizon and realized this was the Fios account I had in 2009. I explained what happened and was assured by Kurt in their finance department that by making the payment there would be no negative impact to my personal credit. That was a lie. After remitting the payment I then found out Kurt lied and in fact Verizon had already reported the late payments prior to taking my payment. When I called back and referenced my conversation with Kurt I was told that it was not "his decision to make" and that they don't delete from credit reports. I have a wireless account with Verizon using the same phone number and email address I used to setup the Fios account in 2009 yet I was never told about this issue (would have addressed immediately).
I will continue to fight this in any way possible as my fico was 820+ and dropped to 700 in the matter of one day. Verizon is in breach of the Fair Debt Collection Process Act - Section False and Misleading Representations - Use any false representation (Kurt) or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect a debt or to obtain information about a consumer.
I have called repeatedly to the asset recovery department who has the power to make this right and they have lied stating a supervisor would call me back within 24-48 hours twice now. I have seen other forum users under far less exceptional circumstances get the negative credit reporting removed. Under the circumstances Verizon has proven they have zero sympathy. Even if one of their customers passes away.

I have taken advantage of Verizon's executive leadership contact channel and reached out to Ronan Dunne - Executive Vice President and Group CEO of Verizon Consumer. Waiting on a response. Recommend using this option if your feedback and calls fall on deaf ears. Verizon's customer service is and has been pretty horrific for years. 

Re: Verizon sent me to collections after my ex-wife passed

When such issues arise you have to realize that you should have made sure the account after the divorce was no longer in your name. Problem one.

in not knowing how long the account went in arrears it then surpassed a certain number of days to have you correct it (pay it and close it after the passing of the ex wife) it must have been in arrears for quite some time. Problem Two

when you found out about it the credit score was already damaged but even then if you wrote (must be done in writing) you could then DISPUTE the credit line showing a bad payment history. However the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act would have advised you on how to dispute it. Problem Three

Now you have problem four because you actually paid the invoice that was in collections. Under the act above you showed the debt as yours. And it makes it harder to remove.

a bad debt stays on for seven years, and then falls off. However if you pay any amount of that debt it starts the debt clock for the seven years. 

Sending an email to the executive relations is a good idea. But don’t forget to dispute all three credit bureaus with the information and why it should be removed.

you can also start a dispute on the credit bureaus online but be aware Verizon may say it is valid. If Verizon doesn’t get back to the bureaus the trade line is removed.

Good Luck

Re: Verizon sent me to collections after my ex-wife passed
Enthusiast - Level 1

Update: The Verizon executive team responded and reviewed the calls and notes. They agreed deletion of the negative information from my

credit was the right resolution. A promise was made that was broken and they recognized making it right. Huge help if you ever get into a tricky situation where you are not being treated fairly. Extremely professional handling of this situation, maybe the best I have ever seen and I have worked in support 12+ years.