Sonnenschein Financial Services or SFS is a debt collection agency, which receives a lot of consumer complaints to our law firm for debt harassment. Find out who they are, why they might be calling, and how you can stop them.
What is Sonnenschein Financial Services – SFS?
Sonnenschein Financial Services, Inc. (SFS) is a third-party collection agency based in Illinois. SFS has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), such as failing to provide written verification of debts and attempting to collect debts not owed. If SFS has contacted you about past due financial obligations,be sure you know your rights before you respond.
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Is Sonnenschein Financial Services a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Sonnenschein Financial Services, Inc. was founded in 2002 and incorporated in 2004. The BBB established a profile page for SFS in 2003, and SFS has been a BBB-accredited business since 2019. The BBB lists SFS as a collection agency, strategic planning consultant, and automation system. Buzzfile estimates SFS’s annual revenue at $180,000 and the size of its headquarters staff at 2 employees.
According to its website, SFS “provides clients with the highest standards of quality and service and focuses on the client’s bottom line expectations.” SFS “works closely with each client and offers…expertise in improving their collection recovery strategy.”
Sonnenschein Financial Services specializes in the consumer credit industry. Through its parent company, SFS “began as a showcase and demonstration facility for introducing collection technology to major corporations such as GMAC, Ford Motor Credit, and Encyclopedia Britannica.” SFS continues to serve a wide variety of consumer retail businesses as well as municipalities.
SFS offers a “variety of services to maximize uptime and minimize downtime.” Sonnenschein Financial Services “provides credit bureau reporting, generates more cash flow for the community, and effectively solves collection problems.” Their services include automated dialing and “customized statistical analysis.” SFS’s “focused strategies” offerclients “improved cash flow at lower costs” by acting as the client’s“account repository with the State of Illinois Debt Recovery Program.” They also provide skip tracing and infrastructure with high-volume capability.
SFS states that it “complies with all regulatory guidelines” and that its “collectors average over 10 years’ experience,” which is “reflected in…their understanding of the rules and regulations governing” the collection industry. However, their website does not provide any specific details about their regulatory compliance policies, and there are no links or references to consumer protection resources, laws, or enforcement agencies.
Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm
Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of collection harassment and abuse. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. We’ve helped more than 15,000 consumers stop harassment and recover money from debt collectors. Harassed? Abused? Misled by a collector? Call our Helpline today! There is no charge unless we win.
How many Complaints are there against Sonnenschein Financial Services?
As of October 2019, the BBB closed 5 complaints against Sonnenschein Financial Services in the preceding three years, with 1 complaint closedin the previous 12 months. All of those complaints alleged problems with billing and collections. As of February 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)has closed 15 complaints involving SFS. Justia lists at least 1 case of civil litigation involving SFS.
Sonnenschein Financial Services, Inc. Two Trans Am Plaza Drive, Suite 300 Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181 Telephone:(630) 396-2830
Can Sonnenschein Financial Services Sue Me or Garnish My Wages?
It is illegal for a debt collector to make empty threats to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely SFS would sue you for a debt you may not owe or they cannot validate. However, debt collection agencies are known to have summoned debtors to court and garnish wages after a default judgement. Contacting an attorney BEFORE this could possibly happen would be a smart move. We’ve helped thousands of consumers fight back against unscrupulous debt collection harassers. Find out if we can help you too today!
Complaints against Sonnenschein Financial Services cite problems resulting from disputes about the accuracy of billing and accounting procedures and allegations of rude and abusive telephone staff, usually in relation to efforts to collect traffic fines. In May 2019,a complainant stated that she had “four red light tickets that needed to be paid with” SFS. She said she had paid the first one the previous month on the 27th and was scheduled to clear the other tickets monthly, with automatic debits occurring on the 27th of each month. However, after the first ticket was paid, SFS allegedly “decided to take the money out for the next ticket early, …which caused her nothing but stress and troubles with… overdraft fees that she cannot afford.” According to the complainant, she had spoken with an SFS representative who was “extremely unprofessional’” She said she had spoken with the representative when she made the first payment and agreed to arrangements whereby every payment would take place on the 27th of every month for 3 months. She said the SFS representative had “also made it clear that he would contact her before processing any payments, so that he would have her… authorization,” but SFS violated the terms of the agreement by failing to notify her and debiting her account early. She said she had contacted them about the unscheduled withdrawal, and the SFS representative told her that she “would be immediately refunded $200 for the payment that was not supposed to be processed until the 27th.” At the time of the complaint, she still had not received the refund. She also said she had “called three times trying to speak to a manager, but the operator was also unprofessional and sounded like she had no idea what she was talking about.” She said that SFS is a terrible company.
In March 2018, a complainant stated that she had received a call 3 weeks previously regarding “an outstanding ticket for a red-light violation from 2011 and that” she now owes $200. According to the complainant, she was “unaware of this debt and explained that she needed something in writing … because it had been 7 years.” Allegedly, the Sonnenschein Financial Services “representative…was rather abrasive and demanding and stated she would send an email,” but the complainant did not receive anything. On the day of the complaint, the complainant “received a call again, and apparently the representative wrote the email address wrong.” The complainant “responded when she finally received it and requested a payment plan.” The SFS representative “quickly called…again and abrasively demanded that she…pay” immediately because SFS does “not take payment plans.” The representative stated there “is a sense of urgency” and accused the complainant of ineptitude because she has a college degree but can’t pay her bills. The complainant “requested a manager multiple times,” but the representative refused and continued hanging up, saying she would “note her account,‘No payment plans allowed.’” She said that if she had worked with the city directly, they would have allowed her to pay it off in installments and accused SFS of “threatening her credit and license for that matter.”
Sonnenschein Financial Services Calling You?
Federal laws protect you. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates the behavior of collection agencies by prohibiting actions such as the use of abusive or threatening language; harassment; or the use of false or misleading information to collect a debt. The FCRA regulates how collection agencies and creditors report delinquent debts to credit reporting agencies. Additional consumer protection laws include the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA).
But here’s the rub: If you want to enforce your rights, or recover money for violations — you need to sue. These laws provide individuals like you with a means to seek monetary damages in court. For example, the FDCPA allows consumers who have been violated to recover damages of up to $1,000, plus attorney fees and court costs.
“I used to get up to 15 calls a week from several collection agencies. It got so bad I felt like I should just get a new phone number to make it quit. Happily, I discovered Lemberg Law. They immediately put an end to the calls. Now, when my phone rings I do not dread it.”
“I would recommend your company to anyone. You have the debt collectors off my back, and I will finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Throughout the entire procedure your employees were courteous and professional. I was blown away by their efficacy also.
“Prior to contacting you, we had tried repeatedly to handle this matter without threatening litigation. In the end, not only were they unapologetic, but they were dismissive – even of an attorney friend who called on our behalf. Sincerest thanks for resolving this matter for us!”
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About the Author:
Sergei Lemberg is a lawyer whose practice focuses on consumer law, class actions and personal injury litigation. He has been repeatedly recognized as the “most active consumer attorney” in the country. In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid in the United States Supreme Court in the case entitled Duguid v. Facebook. He is the author of Defanging Debt Collectors, a book that teaches consumers how to battle debt collectors and win.