I've been out of dealing with Verizon and tinkering with software and what not for a while and recently got myself into whats more than likely a typical dillema and am just looking for clarification.

First off, I recently purchased a cracked Verizon iPhone 4S running iOS 7 for a friend. I met at Verizon and asked them to verify the ESN was clean. They verified that it was indeed clean. I brought it home to replace the screen and took it back to Verizon the following day so my friend could activate it on his account. Turns out... when trying to activate it the Verizon rep said it couldn't be because it was tied to an older account (the person I purchased it from) who was long gone and bailed. I asked why when the previous day they told me the phone had a clean ESN. Apparently a clean ESN just means the phone hasn't been reported lost or stolen which it wasn't; thus, the ESN was clean. However, the phone again was tied to an old account and couldn't be activated until released. Problem is the account of the person I purchased it from is flagged and they owe a lot of money. The rep couldn't even give me the option of switching another dummy phone onto the account to release the iPhone. He then told me that because the account has been delinquent (in the red) for so long now, Verizon would most likely be closing it in the next month or so and releasing the phone from the account where I would then be able to use it. I told him I've never in my life heard of such. I have always known it to be that if a person abandons an account, the phone becomes marked with a "bad ESN" and its forever unable to be activated on Verizon again. He assurd me however that it would be freed.

So... I'm assuming this Verizon rep who was middle aged is full of crap? That said ...

What exactly are my options at this point since im sure its most likely going to end up with a bad ESN?