FMA Alliance is a third-party debt collector that works with companies to recover delinquent accounts from customers. It relentlessly chases you for reimbursement while damaging your credit score.
Before a debt collector can contact you for payment, it must first report the debt to the major credit bureaus. When this happens, it opens a collections account under FMA Alliance’s name on your credit report. The entry remains as long as seven years and can damage your score by as much as 100 points, which can mean trouble for your future loan or interest rate prospects.
The best way to repair your credit is to remove FMA Alliance from your credit report. Keep reading to learn what steps you need to take to make this happen.
What is FMA Alliance?
FMA Alliance is a medium-sized debt collection agency headquartered in Houston. Originally founded in 1983, FMA Alliance serves clients across various industries, with most of them in the financial services, health care and education sectors.
FMA Alliance complaints
FMA Alliance, like many debt collectors, is widely unpopular among its customers. As a result, it’s had plenty of complaints filed against it over the years.
The debt collector had 2 complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau in the last three years and 11 complaints in 2021 with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Some of these complaints are the result of customers not knowing who FMA Alliance is or why it’s contacting them. Other complaints stem from a more serious issue with FMA Alliance’s collection tactics.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) sets rules to prevent debt collectors from soliciting payments in menacing ways. It protects your rights as a consumer and stops FMA Alliance from bullying you into paying.
However, FMA Alliance has been known to overstep these boundaries, working on the assumption that customers don’t know their rights. This explains the aggressive phone calls and letters you may have heard about.
That’s why it’s important to read up on your rights under the law as soon as you hear from FMA Alliance. If you believe it has violated your rights, you can file a complaint against it.
How to remove FMA Alliance from your credit report
Removing a debt collector from your credit report is as simple as ABC. Below are the steps to take to get the collection off your credit report and out of your life.
Ask for validation of the debt
You have the right to ask for debt validation under the FDCPA. You should take advantage of this right as soon as you hear from FMA Alliance.
If you stop making payments on your bills, your original creditor gets anxious, thinking about how to make up the loss. It decides whether to continue pursuing you or hand off the debt to a collector, such as FMA Alliance. If the creditor chooses to offload the debt, it transitions the account to the debt collector as quickly as possible. This hasty process can lead to errors, inaccuracies and mistaken collection attempts.
You should request validation within 30 days of hearing from FMA Alliance to ensure it isn’t trying to collect the debt based on inaccurate information. Start by crafting a debt validation letter and sending it to FMA Alliance. Ask the carrier for a return receipt so you know when it receives your letter in the mail. FMA Alliance should then send you documentation that proves the debt is yours and that it is permitted to collect it.
Here’s how you can contact FMA Alliance:
12339 Cutten Road
Houston TX 77066
Toll-free: 281-931-5050 local
Compare its information with your own to make sure there are no errors in its report. If you find something that doesn’t match up or isn’t up to date, file a dispute with the three main credit bureaus. Tell them you believe FMA Alliance is reporting false information, and ask them to investigate.
If the credit bureaus find FMA Alliance’s collection entry is inaccurate, they will remove the account from your credit report. This means the collection efforts will stop, and you won’t have to repay the debt.
Begin the negotiations process
FMA Alliance may return with evidence that the debt is yours. This means you’re responsible for repaying it. Before you panic, you should know you can always negotiate to remove its collection account if you agree to pay. In fact, you may even be able to settle for less than the full balance of your debt.
Known as a “pay-for-delete” agreement, consumers commonly use this style of settlement to satisfy debt collectors' need for payment while cleaning up their credit.
Pay-for-delete agreements are sometimes difficult to negotiate, however. FMA Alliance will be reluctant to remove an official collections entry from your credit report. This practice is generally frowned on but is not illegal. Negotiating with it effectively should help secure a settlement.
Start by telling FMA Alliance you will pay 30% of the balance if it removes its collections account. Work with it to arrive at an amount that works. Once you find that magic number, ask it to send a written agreement on company letterhead to act as written proof of the agreement.
When you receive the letter, make your first payment to FMA Alliance. It should contact the credit bureaus and remove its account within 30 days of processing your payment.
Call on a professional
Are you getting nowhere trying to deal with FMA Alliance on your own? Don’t worry — there are professionals you can hire to deal with it for you.
Credit repair specialists act as go-betweens for debt collectors and consumers. They take care of the communications and settlements so you don’t have to. Hiring a credit repair company is no different from hiring an accountant or a plumber; you must do your research to ensure you choose someone experienced and professional.
Here’s a list of the top credit repair companies so you can get help from the best in the business according to your situation and budget.
Removing FMA Alliance from your credit report may seem like an uphill struggle, but you’ll be thankful you did it in the end. Collection accounts can wreak havoc on your credit, and removing FMA Alliance’s account will save you time and money when shopping for loans.
Improving your credit takes diligence, patience and knowledge of the system. If dealing with FMA Alliance is proving too much to handle on your own, you can always lean on a professional. Credit repair firms are there to help, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you start feeling overwhelmed.
Update: This article has been updated to reflect the current number of BBB and CFPB complaints against FMA Alliance. Unverifiable information has been removed.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on February 19, 2021, on BetterCreditBlog.org. To find the most relevant information concerning collections or credit card inquiries, please visit: https://money.com/how-to-remove-collections-from-credit-report/ or https://money.com/get-items-removed-from-credit-report/