Yes, that's the only alternative if they so not take care of things to your satisfaction.
My answer to you question does not constitute legal advice. Only an in person or telephone consultation will result in an attorney/client relationship. Please do not rely on brief answers without checking with an attorney in a confidential consultation.
If Verizon has reported this fraudulent account on your credit history, then you have claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and under Michigan's Collection Practices Act. If Verizon hires a third party debt collector to dun you, then you would also have claims against the third party under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Since you work in credit, you may already know this but, the first step is to dispute the reporting with the credit bureaus. That may sound counter-intuitive, since the dispute is really with Verizon but, reporting the dispute to the bureaus before filing suit is required in order to preserve your rights under the FCRA. If you need a sample dispute letter (called a "Request for Reinvestigation"), feel free to e-mail me directly: email@example.com. Although you can take this step on line, I do not recommend it because: (1) if the report is not corrected, you'll need proof that you took this step - much easier if you use certified mail and keep hard copies for your file; and (2) some of the bureaus sneak an arbitration clause into the on-line dispute process - you want to preserve your right to go to court if your report is not corrected.
Even if the dispute process clears up your credit history, you would still have claims against Verizon (and any third party debt collector) with respect to the debt collection practices. Whether it is worth pursuing those claims is something that would have to be evaluated based on the facts of your case (e.g., how much debt collection harassment occurred, how long a time did this go on, were you denied credit, did the adverse reporting hurt your job, etc.).
Good luck! If you have further questions, you may want to check out the resource links on our website: www.lemonlawlawyers.com.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that provides consumers with the right to a free report and the right to dispute credit report errors for free to Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. When you dispute errors to the credit bureaus (like the Verizon account), the credit bureaus have to forward your dispute to Verizon.
After receiving the dispute, Verizon must investigate your dispute and report its findings to Equifax, Experian or Trans Union. Next, the credit bureaus will send you the results of their investigation. If the reinvestigation results say the credit bureau "verified" the information, then you may be entitled to money damages because the credit bureaus and Verizon failed to perform a reasonable investigation.
If you send the credit bureaus an identity theft report, then the credit bureaus must block the information (the Verizon account) within 4 business days. If the credit bureaus fail to do so, then you may be entitled to money damages.
For more information about your rights under the FCRA, visit www.itsyourcreditreport.com
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