Debt collection letters and calls stir up stress and uncertainty for many consumers. With scam artists preying on people’s fears, how can you tell if a collector like Sunrise Credit Services is deceiving you or making false claims? This guide examines common debt collection scams, your rights, and what to do if Sunrise seems suspicious.
Overview of Sunrise Debt Collectors Letters, Text and Calls
Sunrise Credit Services is a legitimate debt collection agency that purchases past-due accounts from original creditors and attempts to collect on them. They are known for sending letters and placing frequent calls demanding payment for debts claimed to be owed.
Many people report receiving letters out of the blue from Sunrise Credit Services seeking payment for unfamiliar debts or sums they already paid off. The letters may contain little detail on the origin, dates, or nature of the alleged debt.
After the initial letter, consumers often describe fielding numerous calls from Sunrise representatives. The callers typically pressure for immediate payment and provide inconsistent information on the debt when asked.
How Debt Collection Scam Letters and Calls Work
While some letters and calls from Sunrise are legitimate collections efforts, many consumers believe they receive fraudulent letters claiming debts that are inaccurate or even completely falsified.
Here are some potential red flags:
- The letter references an account number or original creditor you don’t recognize.
- The amount owed seems arbitrarily made up.
- The dates or locations associated with the debt are unfamiliar.
If you call the number provided to dispute the debt, the representative may be evasive and refuse to provide documentation or proof you actually owe the amount listed.
The collectors often try to pressure or intimidate people into just paying debts rather than validating accuracy. Their tactics may include:
- Threats to damage your credit or file a lawsuit
- Harassing calls at all hours
- Verbal abuse or profanity
- Calls to your workplace or family members
Company Details on Sunrise Credit Services
Sunrise Credit Services is a legitimate debt collection agency located in Farmingdale, New York. They have been in business since 1974.
Though the company itself is real, many of their practices have drawn scrutiny and complaints over the years. Here are some quick facts about the agency:
- Privately owned debt collection agency
- Purchases defaulted account portfolios from creditors
- Handles debt collection outsourcing services
- Subject of over 1,000 consumer complaints on the CFPB website
- Given a 1 out 5 star rating on the Better Business Bureau site
While Sunrise Credit Services is an accredited and approved debt collector, their track record includes many documented complaints of harassment, inaccurate reporting, and questionable conduct.
User Reviews and Complaints Reveals the Deceptive Tactics
Sunrise Credit Services has over 300 complaints on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, with most reviewers giving them the lowest 1 star rating.
Here are examples of some of the concerning reviews consumers have left:
Sunrise Credit has been constantly calling my phone asking for someone I have no clue about. I have asked them to stop calling and to remove my number countless times, but the calls won’t stop.
They said I owed a debt that did not belong to me. I disputed it but they still put it on my credit report and ruined my credit score. I had to hire an attorney to get it removed.
They call me 5 times a day demanding payment on a so-called debt I never heard of. The amount they say I owe keeps changing. I asked for proof and they got abusive. I wish they would just stop with these harassing calls already!
These complaints suggest Sunrise collectors frequently call the wrong numbers for the wrong people, misreport debts, and overall use highly questionable collection practices.
Is Sunrise Credit Services a Legitimate Debt Collector or a Scam?
Sunrise Credit Services is a real debt collection agency that buys defaulted debts and attempts to collect payments on them. However, they have developed a notorious reputation for potentially illegal and harassing tactics based on consumer complaints and lawsuits.
While not an outright “scam”, you should exercise extreme caution in dealings with Sunrise Credit Services. Assume letters could contain false debts and collectors may use unlawful intimidation or misinformation on calls.
Though Sunrise is a legitimate agency, their collections process breeds frequent abuse and consumer distrust. Use your rights and safeguards if engaging with them.
Your Rights Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
When dealing with any debt collector, you have certain rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This federal law aims to prevent abusive and deceptive conduct.
Your rights under the FDCPA include:
- Debt collectors can’t use threats, profanity, or call you repeatedly with intent to harass.
- They cannot call outside the hours of 8am-9pm in your time zone.
- Collector’s cannot contact your friends, family, employer, or coworkers about your debts (with few exceptions).
- You have the right to demand written validation of any debt before paying anything.
Collectors who violate the FDCPA can be sued for damages including compensation for emotional distress.
Lawsuits Against Sunrise for Abusive Tactics
Due to complaints about their conduct, Sunrise Credit Services has been hit with multiple lawsuits in recent years accusing them of FDCPA violations.
One such case, Jeffery v. Sunrise Credit Services, Inc. et al (Case Number: 6:2023cv00603), stands out as Jasmine Jeffery takes legal action against Sunrise Credit Services, Inc. and Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Jeffery’s complaint, filed on December 4, 2023, in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, underscores the alleged violations of the FDCPA. The plaintiff contends that Sunrise Credit Services, Inc. engaged in unfair debt collection practices, invoking statutory provisions to challenge the validity of the debt and seeking remedies under the FDCPA.
Similarly, in FULLER v. SUNRISE CREDIT SERVICES, INC. (Case Number: 2:2023cv04495), plaintiff Jordan Fuller brings attention to the issue of abusive tactics in debt collection. Filed on November 14, 2023, in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the case revolves around alleged violations of the FDCPA by Sunrise Credit Services, Inc. The plaintiff, Jordan Fuller, demands justice under the statutory framework, emphasizing the need for accountability in debt collection practices.
These lawsuits confirm that Sunrise Credit has a history of verified abusive practices in contradiction to consumer protection laws.
How to Spot Debt Collection Fraud Letters, Text and Calls
Since collectors like Sunrise frequently overstep legal bounds, here are tips for identifying scams:
- Be wary of any threatening language, profanity, or overly aggressive demands for payment.
- Watch for letters demanding payment on unfamiliar debts you don’t believe you owe.
- Call the original creditor to verify if they sold the debt before dealing with the collector.
- Ask for written validation of the debt and review carefully before paying.
- Don’t fall for pressure tactics or harassment; know your FDCPA rights.
- If the amount owed seems made up or keeps changing, it could be a scam.
What to Do if You Receive a Scam Collection Letter
If you believe a letter from Sunrise Credit Services or any other collector is inaccurate or falsified, take these steps:
- Dispute the debt in writing and keep records of all correspondence.
- Call the original creditor to confirm if the debt is valid and originated with them.
- Ask the collector for validation and proof of the debt belonging to you.
- Report any suspected scam attempts to your state attorney general.
- Submit a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- Hire a consumer lawyer if the collector violates debt collection law.
- Do not pay anything until you have verified the debt as yours with evidence.
Frequently Asked Questions about Sunrise Debt Collector’s
1. Is Sunrise Credit Services a real company?
Yes, Sunrise is an accredited debt collection agency that has been in business since the 1974. However, they have drawn many consumer complaints over their tactics.
2. What should I do if they calls about a debt I don’t owe?
Politely ask for written validation of the debt and proof it belongs to you. If they cannot validate it, you can request they cease contact. Dispute inaccurate debts.
3. Can they sue me or damage my credit?
They can attempt to add debts to your credit report and pursue collections lawsuits if debts are validated as yours. However, if they violate law, you may sue them for damages.
4. Is it safe to pay them?
Only pay them if you confirm a debt is genuinely owed by reviewing original creditor documentation. Get payment agreements in writing first. Never pay just because of harassment or threats.
5. Where can I report issues about Sunrise Debt Collection agency?
You can file complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and your state attorney general regarding improper debt collection practices.
The Bottom Line
After the full investigation some key highlights are listed below:
- Sunrise Credit Services is a real debt collector but has drawn many complaints about harassment and questionable tactics.
- Consumers should be cautious of any questionable letters or calls demanding payment on unfamiliar debts.
- Never provide personal information or pay anything until the debt can be fully validated as authentically yours.
- Know your rights under federal and state debt collection laws.
- Consult with an attorney if they uses illegal practices to collect on a debt.
- Always report scam attempts or FDCPA violations to protect yourself and other consumers.
So in summary, tread carefully with Sunrise Credit Services. While a real company, their collections approach frequently lands them in legal hot water. Protect yourself from potential scams using the steps and guidance outlined above. With caution, you can determine whether the debts in question are fraudulent or if Sunrise is overstepping boundaries in their pursuit of payments.