Verizon Collections: How to Remove Them From Your Credit Report
If your Verizon account has been sent to collections and is negatively impacting your credit score, you might have options to remove the negative mark. Here’s how to take the proper steps to resolve the problem.
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If your Verizon bill has not been paid for several months, you might find that not only is your phone service shut off, but that your account has also been sent to collections.
Verizon’s regular billing department typically attempts to collect your payment for only a few months. After that, your account can be sent to a collections agency. Having an account sent to collections can knock down your credit score, and it can be a challenge to get the collections notice removed from your credit report – even after the debt is paid. A collections items usually stays on your credit report for seven years.
Although it might be challenging to remove the negative item from your credit report if it is accurate, it isn’t necessarily impossible. Here are the steps you need to take to resolve the problem and possibly even get the Verizon collections item removed from your credit report.
Find Out the Status of Your Account
First, you might have found out your Verizon account was sent to collections because you received a notice in the mail. But whether or not you received a notice, you should get a copy of your credit report.
You can get a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three main credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. You might want to pull credit reports from all three bureaus to check for any collections items.
>> Read More: Best Free Credit Report Site
Your next step depends on whether or not the account has actually been sent to the collections agency and reported to the credit bureaus.
What to Do if Verizon Still Holds the Account
If you find that Verizon still owns the account, you need to act fast and contact Verizon immediately. It is far better for you to face Verizon now than it is to wait for the account to be sent to a collections agency.
If the late payment has not been reported to the credit agencies, you’ll have two options when you contact Verizon:
- Pay the entire outstanding balance. Obviously, it’s best if you can go ahead and pay off the entire debt so that you can put an end to the situation. If you have the money, go ahead and pay off the outstanding debt so that you don’t have to worry about it again.
- Set up installment payments. If you cannot afford to pay the entire outstanding balance at one time, ask Verizon if they will set up installment payments for the outstanding balance. It’s better for you if your account doesn’t get sent to collections, but it’s also better for Verizon.
When Verizon sells your account to a collections agency, Verizon only gets paid a small percentage of the total outstanding debt. So, Verizon gets more by allowing you to repay the debt over time than they would by selling your debt to a collections agency. Don’t assume they won’t be willing to work with you. Call and ask.
If Verizon has reported your account delinquency to the credit agencies but still owns the account, contact Verizon about the following options:
- A goodwill adjustment. Once you’ve repaid the outstanding balance in full, you can file a request for Verizon to remove the negative entry on your credit report. When you request a goodwill adjustment, you’ll write a letter to Verizon explaining the circumstances that led you to make a late payment and ask that they remove their negative entry out of goodwill. If you’ve already paid the debt and have not had any other problems with late payments, there is a good chance that Verizon will agree.
- A pay for deletion agreement. If you can’t afford to pay your full outstanding debt at one time, you can still request that Verizon remove the negative entry from your credit report. You’ll need to write a letter to Verizon requesting that they remove the negative entry from your credit report in exchange for payment.
It may take a while to get a response from Verizon, and they may make a counter-offer to you rather than agreeing to your offer. Keep trying and make sure that you get everything in writing. Once you have come to an agreement, make sure that you pay the negotiated amount by the agreed date. Otherwise, it could negate the deal and Verizon won’t delete the negative entry on your credit.
What to Do if the Debt Has Been Sold to a Collection Agency
When Verizon sells your debt to a collections agency, it can be bad news for your credit score. Removing negative but accurate information from your credit report can be difficult to do. But you can try taking these steps to attempt to get the negative collections account removed from your credit report:
- Send a debt validation letter to the collections agency. One of the things that may work in your benefit is the fact that collections agencies don’t always get all of the required paperwork when they purchase a debt account. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires that collection agency can provide all of the documentation proving that you actually owe the debt that they claim you owe and that they have the right to collect that debt.
If they cannot show proper documentation of the debt, the collections agency is legally bound to cease contacting you about the outstanding debt and to remove the debt account from your credit report. If they refuse to comply with the request, you can dispute the entry on your credit report and provide evidence that they did not validate the debt. A debt validation request needs to be sent to the collections agency by certified mail. The collections agency then has 30 days to respond to the request.
- Inquire about a pay for deletion agreement. As discussed above, you may be able to get the collections agency to agree to remove the collections account from your credit report in exchange for your payment of the debt. You’ll need to send a written request to the collections agency asking them to agree to the terms of the agreement. It can take a while to get a response, so you should continue to follow up with the collections agency after sending the letter.
Getting Professional Help With Credit Repair
If you do not get a successful resolution through all of your attempts to get Verizon collections removed from your credit report, you may want to consider getting help from a professional credit repair company. These companies have several tools and techniques that they use to get negative information removed from your credit report.
If you have negative credit entries other than the Verizon collections account, the credit repair company may be able to help get those entries removed, too. Before you hire a credit repair company, however, do some research about the cost and the reputation of the company. Ask about all of the fees and what you get in return for the money. In addition, research the credentials of the company and whether clients report successful outcomes.
Author: Kimberly Goodwin, PhD