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'God' Files Suit In New York To Resolve Credit Dispute

As the saying goes, "In God We Trust, all others pay cash."

But in the case of Russian immigrant and businessman God Gazarov, cash may be the only option.

That's because, according to The New York Post, credit reporting agency Equifax has refused to acknowledge that he has any financial history whatsoever, despite having high scores with two other major credit agencies.

According to the Post:

"Despite having scores of more than 720 with the two other major credit agencies, TransUnion and Experian, Gazarov said the Equifax snag prevented him from purchasing an Infiniti car last year.

" 'It's extremely frustrating,' Gazarov told the Post. 'I worked hard to get good credit to look good to lenders and this happens.' "

It turns out that the problem for Gazarov, 26, who owns a gold store in the Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn, N.Y., may simply be his name, which he shares with his grandfather, the newspaper says. Gazarov's lawyer, James Fishman, says his client came to the U.S. when he was 3 and recently became a naturalized citizen.

The attorney confirms that Equifax "suggested [Gazarov] change his first name as a solution" to the no credit history dilemma.

Fishman, who has filed a lawsuit against Equifax on behalf of his client, says in an email to NPR: "Mr. Gazarov has had credit with Capital One, American Express and Discover for 2 years. He's paid his balance in full every month."

He says Gazarov is seeking damages from the credit reporting company for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

"We will ask a jury to decide what he should receive," he says.

Asked what it's like to represent God, Fishman says "It's been interesting. Certainly it's generated a lot of comments from my colleagues.

"My daughter, who is a rabbinical student, is getting quite a kick out of it," he says. "She posted on Facebook that 'my father is representing God, so we can all retire now.' "

Equifax could not be immediately reached for comment.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.