Sarah Edwards | October 19, 2022
Summary: Is FMA Alliance suing you for a debt? SoloSuit can help you take a stand and win in court.
What's one of the least appreciated items you can receive in the mail? Probably a notice from a debt collector telling you that you owe money. This can be extremely stressful, especially if you have no idea who the debt collector is or what the debt is for. Many people simply throw these letters away, but that's not the best way to handle it.
Instead, you should carefully read through the letter to determine what the debt is for and what your options are. If the amount is small enough and you do believe you owe the debt, it may be best just to pay it so that you can move on with your life. If this is the route you choose to take, make sure that the debt collector agrees to remove any negative information that may have been sent to the credit reporting bureaus before agreeing to pay. You'll also want verification of payment, such as a receipt.
On the other hand, if you don't recall the debt at all, you'll want to dispute the debt immediately. Typically, this must be a written dispute sent to the company within 30 days of receiving your notice. Your request should be sent to the debt collector in a Debt Validation Letter—in this case, FMA Alliance—asking them to provide evidence that the debt is, in fact, yours.
FMA Alliance is a legitimate debt collection agency based in Houston, TX. Its focus is on governmental agencies, so when you receive a notice of debt from FMA Alliance, it will typically relate to past-due taxes, fines, government fees, court-ordered debts, or tolls. However, the agency may pursue other types of debt as well.
FMA Alliance has had 11 consumer complaints with the BBB over the past three years. Even worse, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has reported 135 complaints against FMA Alliance in the same time period. Most of the complaints filed related to unapproved payments from bank accounts or inadequate validation of a debt.
Let's take a look at a real example:
Example: “I contacted FMA Alliance in October to stop payment from automatically drafting from my bank account. I then contacted them again requesting to stop payments altogether. No payment was drafted in October, no payment drafted in November. Come December, FMA Alliance pulls $385.15 from my bank account without my knowledge. I called and requested a refund. I have been hung up on, no return phone calls and no accurate information. All I want is my money back!”
Since FMA Alliance is a debt collection agency, it must follow certain rules when attempting to collect a debt from a consumer. These regulations are set forth in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
The FDCPA establishes standards that debt collectors must follow whenever they attempt to collect a debt. These standards are designed to protect the consumer from unfair debt collection practices, such as harassment or abuse. For example, debt collection agencies are prohibited from any of the following actions when pursuing a debt:
Any of these actions violate the FDCPA, and the consumer has the right to file a claim against the debt collector if they experience actions that are contrary to the law.
If you receive a Summons or notification from FMA Alliance that you are being sued for a debt, you'll want to take action as soon as possible. If you fail to respond or pay the debt prior to the court date, the court may issue a judgment against you.
A judgment allows FMA Alliance to use a variety of tools to collect the full amount of the debt that you potentially owe. These tools can include garnishing your wages, freezing your bank account, or even placing a lien on your property.
Obviously, you don't want a judgment — especially for a debt that you don't truly owe. Thus, taking the time to Answer the Summons is critical. You do this by asking them to validate the debt, that they have the legal standing to sue you, and that the debt is truly owed by you. In many cases, simply filing an Answer is all it takes to get the debt collector off your back.
The first step to beating FMA Alliance in court is to respond to the Summons and Complaint. The proper way to respond is by filing a written Answer with the court and sending a copy of it to FMA Alliance.
Make sure to file the Answer before the deadline, which is 14-35 days depending on which state you live in.
Follow these 6 tips when drafting your Answer:
To learn more about these 6 tips, check out this video:
After you've drafted your Answer, file it with the court immediately. Some courts require you to file electronically, but usually you can mail it in or drop it off in person. You should also send a copy of the Answer to FMA Alliance and request a return receipt for proof of delivery.
SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.
You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.
SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.
"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James
You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now or are just looking for support, we're here for you.
Here's a list of guides for other states.
Being sued by a different debt collector? Were making guides on how to beat each one.
Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.
Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.