A Brooklyn man is suing Equifax over the right to use his given name: God.
God Gazarov, 26, owns a jewelry store in Brighton Beach and was outraged when the credit-reporting agency suggested that he change his name in order to obtain his proper credit history, reports the New York Post. Gazarov, a native of Russia, is named after his grandfather. His lawsuit seeks to force Equifax to accept "God" as his proper name.
Can Gazarov sue to make "God" a part of Equifax's business?
Yes, Your Name Can Be 'God'
In a world where you can change your name from Ron Artest to "Metta World Peace," it shouldn't be that hard to imagine that the first name "God" should be just fine. In Gazarov's case, his given name is actually "God," making him much like the Tennessee baby "Messiah" who (eventually) got to keep his birth-given name.
God's troubles began when he attempted to purchase a car last year. Despite having sterling credit reports from TransUnion and Experian, he was blocked by Equifax because of his unusual name, reports the Post. While we haven't seen Gazarov's Equifax lawsuit, it's likely that he's seeking an injunction that would force Equifax to recognize "God" as his valid name.
All Americans are entitled to a free annual credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. So Equifax could potentially be violating federal consumer protection laws by denying God his credit report.
Other Legal Troubles With Being 'God'
Although Gazarov seems to be on the right side of the law with this credit report suit, he may have other issues with being "God." Some potential issues that come to mind include:
- Vanity license plates. Having "GODSCAR" on Gazarov's new Infiniti might look cool, if there isn't some snafu about religious license plates.
- God.com. If Gazarov gets a wild hair to change his name to God.com, it probably won't fly either, as an Evangelical group already owns that domain name.
- Birth certificates. There is nothing in New York law preventing "God" from appearing as the father on a child's birth certificate, even when born out of wedlock. But a particularly religious hospital might present an issue.
It's likely God Gazarov will eventually triumph in his legal fight against Equifax. But perhaps the controversy could be a godsend: All this buzz about his name can't be bad for "God's" public image or his jewelry business.
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