Evergreen Professional Recoveries may have appeared on your credit report, or perhaps you’ve received a phone call or a letter from them.
If so, it’s an attempt to collect a debt. You’ll need to work to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, collection accounts have a way of getting worse with time, not better.
In this guide, we’ll be providing you with strategies for dealing with Evergreen Professional Recoveries. None will be easy – or guaranteed.
But if you’re up for the challenge, a specific strategy may be able to either lower the debt, remove it from your credit report, or make it go away completely.
About Evergreen Professional Recoveries
Based in Bothell, Washington, Evergreen Professional Recoveries, Inc., has been operating as a collection agency since 1986.
The company provides recovery services for everything ranging from large national and regional companies to small, local businesses.
No industry specialization is indicated. But the company does list:
- health care
- financial institutions
- government (court and non-court ordered)
They have an in-house legal department but also participate in a network of attorney services.
The company also does not indicate if it represents original creditors, or if it purchases the debts to become the primary creditor.
Is Evergreen Professional Recoveries Legitimate?
Evergreen Professional Recoveries is a legit business with a Better Business Bureau rating of “A”, which is the second-highest rating provided on a scale of A+ to F.
Evergreen Professional Recoveries has been accredited by the BBB since 1994, though it only has 18 complaints filed against it in the past three years.
Though the sample size of complaints is small, it’s worth knowing that the collection agency has answered each, though only one has been resolved in the consumer’s favor.
However, the complaints don’t show specific patterns of behavior by Evergreen that might help deal with them.
Get Legal Help in Dealing with Evergreen Professional Recoveries
Not everyone is cut out to deal with collection agencies, and there’s no shame in admitting you can’t.
If Evergreen Professional Recoveries gets especially aggressive, or if they threaten you with legal action, hire a credit repair specialist to represent you.
One of the top credit law firms in the country is Lexington Law.
Since they specialize in credit law, they give you a big advantage in dealing with a collection agency.
And if there are any violations of federal law, they may be able to make your collection go away completely.
Before You Deal with Evergreen Professional Recoveries
You’ll need to be aware of some rules that apply when dealing with any collection agency.
Learn these before taking on Evergreen Professional Recoveries.
1. Do Not Communicate via Phone
Phone contact is the best strategy for collection agencies – which is why it is virtually the worst one for you.
A train collection agent will have all the advantages, knowing exactly how to intimidate and coerce you.
Unless you work as a collection agent yourself, you’ll be at a decided disadvantage.
You should also know that collection agencies routinely record phone calls.
No, it’s not being done for quality service or training purposes, but rather to gather evidence against you.
Evidence? Yes – the kind can be used against you in a lawsuit.
The agency will attempt to have you provide additional information, to further establish your responsibility for the debt.
They’ll also be pushing you to make a promise to pay. Even if you can’t, they may still win. (We’ll get into the reasons why in a little bit.)
Though an initial contact with a collection agency may be by phone, it should be your last. And if it hasn’t happened yet, be sure to provide as little information as possible.
2. Communicate in Writing
Collection agencies are well aware that consumers have certain protections under federal law.
One of them is to put a stop to phone contact by insisting on communication by written correspondence. You should invoke this right immediately.
First, it will put an end to the annoying and often unsettling phone calls.
When a collection agency becomes particularly aggressive, a common tactic is to bombard you with multiple phone calls in a space of a few days or weeks.
That can leave any consumer off-balance, which is exactly what you’ll need to avoid.
Second, written correspondence will make it easier for you to keep track of the collection process.
Everything will be spelled out in writing, and you’ll be able to limit your responses to facts and your own questions for the collection agency.
Any correspondence you send to the collection agency should be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.
That will not only prove you’ve sent letters to the agency, but also that they been received.
As correspondence comes in and goes out, be sure to maintain all communication in a dedicated file folder.
Not only will this make it easy for you to access the many exchanges that are likely to take place, but it can also serve as your best defense in a lawsuit.
In fact, you may want to consider that your entire strategy for dealing with a collection agency needs to be based on the premise that you’re ultimately preparing for a lawsuit.
Most likely it will never happen. But if it does, your file full of correspondence will give you a fighting chance.
3. Do Not Make a False Promise to Pay
This is probably the biggest mistake unsuspecting consumers make. Often, it’s done in an effort to get rid of the collection agent – at least at the moment.
But rest assured, the agent will always come back until full payment is received.
But if you make a promise to pay – and don’t follow through – it can be considered a breach of contract.
That will help the collection agencies case against you in a lawsuit, and put you at a decided disadvantage.
It’s worth repeating – never make a promise to send payment unless you have the money and your fully prepared to send it.
4. Know Your Rights Under Federal Law
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) provides consumers with certain protections from collection agency abuses.
You can learn these protections by reading the Debt Collection FAQs provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Just knowing your rights under federal law may give you the upper hand when a collection agency starts getting ugly.
If you are overwhelmed by dealing with negative entries on your credit report,
we suggest you ask a professional credit repair company for help.
How to Deal with Evergreen Professional Recoveries
Now that you have a good handle on the basics of dealing with all collection agencies, let’s look at some more specific strategies for dealing with Evergreen Professional Recoveries.
We’re offering several. Because the various types of debt the company may be collecting for cover such a wide range.
One strategy may work for a credit card collection, while you’ll need another to deal with a property management company debt.
1. Demand Evergreen Professional Recoveries Provide a Debt Validation Letter
Debt validation is the foundation of the collection process. A collection agency can’t simply assert debt against you – they have to prove it.
This is what the validation process is intended to do. Federal law requires the collection agency to provide that validation.
Your first step in dealing with Evergreen Professional Recoveries is to demand a fully completed debt validation letter.
The debt validation should provide any information relevant to the collection. This would include the amount, the date of the account within the collection, the original creditor’s name, and other information that clearly establishes your responsibility for the obligation.
Once you receive the debt validation, review the details carefully.
You’ll need to look for any indication the collection agency is attempting to collect a debt that has already been paid, or got you confused with someone else.
You should be able to dispute the debt if either situation is the case. If you’ve already paid the original creditor, provide a copy of the payment to the collection agency.
And of course, offer any evidence that will show you are not the person they’re looking for if it’s a case of mistaken identity.
2. Request a Goodwill Deletion
If a collection account is the result of circumstances beyond your control, and you’ve either paid the debt in full, or plan to do so, it may be possible to have the account deleted from your credit report. This is known as a goodwill deletion.
You’ll need to send Evergreen Professional Recoveries a goodwill letter, that will a) remind the agency.
The debt has already been paid, and b) make a convincing case that it was the result of circumstances beyond your control.
It should be something like a prolonged health-related issue, a divorce, the death of a loved one, or something of similar magnitude. Including supporting documentation will strengthen your case.
If your letter is convincing, the collection agency may delete the account from your credit reports, improving your credit score.
3. Offer a “Pay-for-Delete” Agreement
If your primary purpose is to improve your credit score, this is a strategy worth trying.
Essentially, you’ll send the collection agency, a pay-for-delete letter, offering to pay the account in full in exchange for the collection agency deleting the account from your credit reports.
If they agree, request confirmation of the arrangement in writing.
That you should be aware that even if Evergreen Professional Recoveries agrees to the pay-for-delete arrangement in writing, you still may not get a hold for outcome.
The company may accept your payment, then failed to remove the collection accounts from your credit reports.
Unfortunately, you’ll no recourse if they don’t. Strictly speaking, pay-for-delete arrangements are not legally enforceable.
It may be that the company agrees to the arrangement solely for the purpose of getting you to pay the full balance due.
Sadly, this is basically the way things work with the collection industry.
4. Demand Deletion if Evergreen Professional Recoveries Can’t Fully Validate the Debt
Earlier, we suggested using the debt validation to challenge the collection account based on missing or incorrect information.
But if Evergreen Professional Recoveries fails to provide the letter, or if it comes back without important information, you can legally challenge the claim’s validity.
Even if Evergreen Professional Recoveries doesn’t accept your challenge, you can open a dispute with the three credit bureaus, who will investigate your claim within 30 days.
If Evergreen Professional Recoveries similarly fails to provide complete information – or any information at all – the credit bureaus will delete the account from your credit reports.
Now while that will obviously improve your credit score, the debt may not go away.
Even if the credit bureaus do delete the account from your credit reports, Evergreen Professional Recoveries may not drop collection efforts against you.
It’s another example of an outcome that is not at all unusual in the collection’s universe.
Should that be the case, you may have no choice but to pursue legal action against the company. We’ll make a suggestion on that front at the very end of this article.
5. Settle the Debt for Less than the Full Amount Owed
Even though many collection agencies will deny this reality upfront, settling collection accounts for less than the full amount is actually a very common way the debts are resolved.
The strategy will improve your credit score – apart from the fact that an open collection account will become a settled one – it will enable you to pay less than the full amount.
You’ll need to send Evergreen Professional Recoveries a letter proposing to settle the account for less than the full amount.
Start with no more than half the collection amount, or even less if you feel they may bite.
If they agree to the arrangement, they’ll come back with their own offer, which will be considerably higher.
You’ll negotiate back and forth, perhaps several times, until you reach a figure that’s mutually agreeable.
Once it is, insist Evergreen Professional Recoveries provide you with written confirmation of your agreement.
You must not send any money until you receive that agreement. If you do, Evergreen Professional Recoveries may accept your payment as a partial payment on the debt, then continue to pursue you for payment of the original amount.
It’s another of those unfortunate outcomes that are hardly unusual. When dealing with collection agencies.
And it’s another compelling reason why you may need to consider getting legal help in settling the account.
How an Evergreen Professional Recoveries Collection Can Affect Your Credit
You should be aware that a collection account can remain on your credit report for up to seven years from when the account first became delinquent.
During that entire time, it will lower your credit score, though the impact will lessen over time.
But of equal concern is the possibility that a collection account on your credit report could prevent you from getting new financing, a new apartment, or even a job you were hoping to land.
An unpaid collection, particularly a large one, can be seen as confirmation of a lack of financial responsibility.
But the worst possible outcome is when a collection account becomes a judgment.
Should that happen, you’ll lose your ability to dispute the debt, and it will become a legal obligation.
The collection agency will then be able to take more drastic steps, like garnishing your wages until the debt is paid.