Is Sunrise Assessment Services calling you?* Here’s what you need to know
No one wants to take a call from a collection agency, especially when the debt is more than you can afford to pay. When you do speak with them, they can be rude, threatening and insistent that you pay in full immediately. However, by bullying you, they are actually breaking the law.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
Prior to 1977, so many people were declaring personal bankruptcy to escape from abusive debt collectors that Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, to protect consumers from harassment.
Company Profile: Sunrise Assessment Services
Sunrise Assessment Services is a debt collection company located in Folsom, California. It was established in 1989, has 10 to 19 employees, and is managed by its CFO, Marcia Townsend. Records retained at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that Sunrise Assessment Services has been accused of violating the FDCPA during certain debt collection attempts.
Alleged Violations against Sunrise Assessment Services
According to PACER, on or about March 6, 2009, Sunrise Assessment Services sent a collection letter to a California consumer, who promptly sent a return notice disputing the debt. He later complained that the exact debt amount was not provided: instead, the letter stated, “As of the date of this letter, the amount due and owing on this account is $1,310.20, plus accruing charges, attorney fees; and other charges as provided under the terms of the governing documents.” It also demanded payment of a “Pre-Lien Fee” in the amount of $250.00, a $35.00 fee for “Vesting Documents,” a $20.00 fee for “PL Mailing-Certified,” and a $6.00 fee for “PL Mailing- Regular.”
The letter also noted, “Any partial payment received will incur a $25.00 fee for the additional handling required to return it to you.” The consumer interpreted this statement as a threat to take action that Sunrise Assessment Services could not legally take.
Because he could not pay the entire amount in full, the consumer mailed several partial payments to cover the undisputed portion of the debt. Each one was promptly returned and incurred the aforementioned $25.00 ‘return fee’, which added to the accruing interest on the debt.
The consumer finally hired a consumer attorney and sued Sunrise Assessment Services Inc for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Threatening legal action it did not intend to take
- Trying to collect an amount not authorized by law or the original creditor agreement
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for Sunrise Assessment Services are:
If either of these numbers appear on your caller ID, it means that a collection agency is trying to reach you. If they threaten you with legal action and inflate the alleged debt with ‘service fees’ and other charges, contact a consumer attorney. If you decide to sue, Sunrise Assessment Services could be ordered to pay you $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney’s fees, court costs, and any actual damages. In the end, their decision to harass you could be a costly mistake.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 2:09-cv-01963-GEB-KJN from the United States District Court, Eastern District of California.
Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Sunrise Assessment Services or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.