The Verizon bill that you’ve been ignoring has now gone into collections and the calls are flooding in. What now?
It depends on how long the account has been in collections and if they’ve reported it to the credit bureaus. If the account was recently sent to collections, the good news is you can resolve the issue without a ton of effort.
In this case, your credit score won’t take a dive. But if it was already reported, you’ll have to do a bit more legwork to get the entry removed from your credit report.
Read on for guidance on how to be set free from Verizon Wireless Collections.
Dealing with Verizon
Before you move forward, take a minute to retrieve a copy of your credit report to see if the account is there.
(You can access one free copy a year from each credit bureau. More detailed guidance can be found here).
If the account hasn’t been reported:
You can breathe a temporary sigh of relief. There’s still time to work with Verizon to take care of the outstanding balance. But you need to get a representative on the phone right away. To resolve the matter, you can either:
Take care of the outstanding balance
Your best bet is to pay the bill in full if you have the funds on hand. Don’t feel comfortable sharing your financial information over the phone? Visit a Verizon store or submit a payment online (if you still have access to the dashboard).
Request a payment arrangement
Communicate to the representative how much you can afford to pay each month. You have a good chance of getting your request approved. Why so? Verizon would much rather collect than sell the account to a debt collector. A payment arrangement also allows you to preserve your credit rating.
Quick note: when you’re speaking with a representative, record their name and take detailed notes. Also, request written proof of the payment or any other agreement you reach to have a paper trail.
If the account was reported:
The next step is to contact Verizon and ask that they remove the negative entry.
Request a goodwill adjustment
If you’ve already paid the balance in full, you can request a goodwill adjustment using the template found here. This letter allows you to explain the circumstances behind the late payment and ask that they remove the negative entry out of goodwill.
Negotiate a ‘pay for delete’ agreement
But what if you haven’t yet paid the outstanding balance because you’re low on funds? Don’t give up just yet. There’s still hope, and it could come through a ‘pay for delete’ agreement.
You’ll need to submit a letter requesting that they remove the account in exchange for payment. When you draft up the letter, be sure that you can have the account paid in full by the date listed or you’ll ruin your chances of having the entry removed.
Keep in mind that you may have to correspond back and forth a few times with Verizon to reach an amount you both agree on.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the response you want right away or they respond with a counter-offer. You now have their attention and chances are they’re willing to negotiate to get the account taken care of.
Most importantly, get the agreement in writing. It’ll provide the proof you need if Verizon doesn’t uphold their end of the contract once you’ve paid the balance.
If the account has been sold to a collection agency:
Depending on the age of the account, Verizon may have thrown in the towel and decided that pursuing the past due balance was no longer worth it.
Get the Debt Validated
When the account was sold, there’s a chance all the documentation didn’t go along with it. This is good news for you. Why so?
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the burden of proof lies on the debt collector. That must prove that you actually owe the debt and they have the right to collect on it.
So, you’ll need to send a debt validation letter via certified mail (with a return receipt) to the collection agency asking that they validate the debt. They have 30 days to respond to your request.
But if they’re unable to, they are obligated to stop contacting you about the debt and remove it from your credit report. And if they refuse, you can file a dispute with the credit bureaus indicating that they failed to validate.
However, you may find that they sell the account to another collection agency. If that happens, you’ll need to start this process over again, but with the company.
Ask for deletion in exchange for payment
If they’re not able to validate the account, try requesting deletion in exchange for payment. Remember, it may take a little effort on your part but it’s well worth the legwork.
Get Help from the Professionals
But what if the tactics listed above aren’t working or the account has already been sold to another collection agency and you don’t want to deal with it? At this point, it may be in your best interest to solicit the help of a professional credit repair company.
They have several tried and tested strategies to help you get that stubborn Verizon account off your report. They can also help you remove other negative items that may be damaging your credit as well.
Want to Remove Verizon Collections from Your Credit Report?
It’s possible to make Verizon Wireless collection go away if you take action sooner than later. But what’s most important is that you be proactive. Otherwise, you could end up with a damaging collection account on your credit history.