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Verizon sends a refund check after paying past due debt


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Has this ever happened to anybody else?  In cleaning up my credit, I noticed an outstanding balance of $85 to Verizon.  Since I knew I owed the money, I called and made the payment and got a confirmation number.  This was about a month or so ago.


Today I received a refund check from Verizon to the tune of $85 exactly.  I called Verizon and they said I owed $85.  After telling them my story, they looked into it for several minutes, told me it was sent in error, do not cash, and they'll mark my account as paid. 


Do I have any recourse since I doubt my credit report will reflect this change within the time they have allotted from my original payment?  Am I being overly picky here? 

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I guess my thought was, I have record of the payment, when it was made, how much I owed, how much I paid (100%).  Do they not then have to report this to the bureaus within 30 days?  I made the payment on March 6th.  If I pull my credit report on April 6th and it's still there, did they not violate the law?

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CRAs have 30 days (45 if you do it online) to respond to a dispute.  I don't think creditors HAVE to update in 30 days.  I'd suggest if its still on your reports in April, you dispute it with the CRAs...and then go from there.

CRAs have 45 days if you pulled your credit report from annualcreditreport.com, 30 days otherwise.  


Interesting idea - how long DO the creditors have once knowing about a bonafide error.  Any case history?

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Sometimes making copies of everything and laying out a chain of events in a nicely worded letter to the OC can lead to removal. 


"To Whom It May Concern:


On x date, I was surprised to find (you are always surprised when collections appear!) a collection from your company on my credit report showing a past due amount of $x. See Attachment 1 (their tradeline that you copied and attached).


On x date, fearing that this alleged debt would negatively impact my credit score, I remitted payment in the amount of $x via (whatever means... a check is good because you can attach it... otherwise reference the confirmation number).


On x date, I received a check from your company in the amount I had paid, $x. Your company has an active collection negatively effecting my credit so I was surprised that you refused my payment.


On x date, I contacted your company and spoke with x, who stated that I owed $85. What exactly is your company attempting to do here?


As this appears to be an error on Verizon's end, I would kindly ask that you remove your trade line from my credit report.


Best Regards,




Organization is the key. If you reference attachments and show a chain of events, it has been my experience that you can get a fold. 

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  • 2 months later...

And it gets weirder:


So I didn't cash the check, and then I received my bank statement in late May and it shows that my account was credited for the exact amount from Verizon.  I just got off the phone with them, and now they say I owe $170, because in addition to their twice rejecting my payment, they've "discovered" another $85 in fees in the form of some video services which I certainly don't recall.  Mind you, My last business with Verizon was December of 2010.


I am in the process of getting a loan for building a new home, and would really like to get this mess off of my credit report.  The woman I spoke to said I would need to file a dispute, but I am waiting for management to call me back.

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I would check the terms of my Verizon agreement. It may allow for arbitration or small claims.


This one appears to permit AAA, BBB arbitration or small claims: http://www.verizon.com/ResidentialHelp/Generic/General/General+Topics/General+Questions/130383.htm?CMP=DMC-CVZ_ZZ_ZZ_Z_ZZ_N_X327 and includes a 30 day notice of dispute process: http://www.verizon.com/NROneRetail/NR/rdonlyres/90441AD2-595E-41E8-938E-BBBA785A19C7/0/VZ_Notice_of_Dispute_062512.pdf


Taking an action such as noticing Verizon of arbitration, should it be available in the applicable agreement, *may* light a fire under them to resolve this small dispute quicker IDK.


I would not take the filing of an AAA arbitration or court claim lightly. BBB seems to be much less formal and may be a viable option if available. It is possible that a AAA arbitration filing with its higher costs may be the most concern to Verizon and may get them to resolution quicker.


Another option might be to consult with an competent consumer attorney that may be able to get a quick resolution.

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Time for being polite is done. I would send a curt letter demanding that since they cannot figure out what, if anything, you owe and are refunding money you attempt to send to them to pay, the tradeline is to be removed from you credit report. If they don't remove it, you will be filing a case in Federal Court against them for violation of the FCRPA as well as contract fraud.

You might also want to check with state law regarding what happens if you send them money and they refuse to accept it. In some states, that might be enough to cancel the debt.

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