SARMA, Inc. is a business management services company based in Texas that specializes in third-party collections. SARMA has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including improper contact or sharing of information and using false or misleading language in an effort to collect a debt. If you have been contacted by SARMA, make sure you understand your rights before taking action.
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According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), SARMA Inc. was founded in 1956 and incorporated in 1988. The BBB established a profile page for SARMA in 2003. SARMA is listed as a collection agency; credit service; credit reporting agency; and employment screening and tenant background checking service. Buzzfile estimates SARMA’s annual revenue at $10.3 million and the size of its headquarters staff at 31 people, with an estimated 150 total employees across all locations.
According to its website, SARMA’s mission is to “provide businesses and consumers solutions and service to assist them in making more informed financial and business decisions and improve profitability.” SARMA “offers multiple services to help consumers and businesses make key decisions. These decisions range from employment, financial decisions, collections activity, profitability growth, purchases, and more.”
SARMA’s collections division offers “customized services…to help… financial institutions, health care organizations, municipalities, real estate, retail, telecommunications, and utilities increase their bottom line.” SARMA’s collection services include bad debt collections; early-out services; billing system access; and collector training. In addition, the SARMA Data System (SDS) is an internet-based research engine that provides SAMRA staff with skip tracing tools.
In addition to debt collection, SARMA also provides mortgage lending services, background screening, TransUnion credit services, and customer survey services. SARMA’s debt collection division is a member of the American Collectors Association (ACA) with ACA-trained staff “compliant with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).” Although their Consumer Resources page provides some general information about consumer credit, there are no links or references to consumer protection laws or enforcement agencies.
The BBB has closed 18 complaints against SARMA in the preceding 3 years, with 5 complaints closed in the past 12 months. Most of those complaints allege problems with billing and collections. Since May 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 22 complaints against SARMA. Justia does not list any cases of civil litigation involving SARMA.
555 E. Ramsey Rd.
San Antonio, TX 78216-4640
Telephone: (800) 955-5238
It is illegal for a debt collector to threaten to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely SARMA 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!
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Absolutely. Here are some Sample Cases against SARMA Inc
Complaints against SARMA commonly cite problems resulting from disputes about the accuracy of information reported to the credit reporting agencies. In August 2015, a complainant indicated that he had been contact be SARMA about a delinquent medical bill. He indicated to the representative that he had been previously unaware of the bill but that he wanted to pay it immediately. He asked if he could pay the original creditor directly and if the negative information would be removed from his credit report. The SARMA representative allegedly told the complainant that SARMA owns the debt and that all payments would have to made to be made to them. The SARMA representative also allegedly told the complainant that it may take up to 7 days for negative information to be removed from his credit report. The complainant paid the balance due over the phone and considered the matter closed.
A month later, the complainant contacted SARMA because the item was still appearing on his credit report as a delinquency. The SARMA representative he spoke with told him it could take an additional 90 days for the corrections to appear, but that in any case, SARMA is not obligated to remove any negative items. The complainant objected, insisting that this response contradicted what he had been told at the time he had made the payment, and that therefore the “information SARMA had provided…upon initial contact was misleading, deceitful, and illegal … in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.” The complainant insisted that the debt collector had told him “that the information they provided to the three major credit reporting agencies would be removed from…his report…and that his account has been paid in full and is no longer valid debt.” The complainant argued that by promising to remove the information in exchange for payment, SARMA was in direct violation of Section 1692c of the FDCPA.
In response, SARMA acknowledged that the complainant had “requested that the account be removed from his credit report after paying in full.” However, they insisted that “the representative stated the account could not be removed but would be updated to the bureaus as paid in… full.” SARMA indicated that a recording of the phone call supported their claim. The complainant rejected the attempted resolution, insisting that SARMA had the ability to remove the item but was insisting on a semantic misinterpretation to refuse to accommodate the complainant. SARMA responded by restating their position; however, they also indicated that “as a courtesy, they had placed a request for removal with all three credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and Transunion, and will send… the complainant a letter stating this and the control number in order to follow up with the reporting agencies.”
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) are enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The 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). The complaint above illustrates how these laws can be extremely effective tools to hold accountable collection agencies who fail to adhere to their provisions.
These laws also provide individuals 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.
Seek legal assistance to find the relief you may be entitled to if you are having difficulty resolving disputes with a debt collection agency.
Your debt harassment checklist:
- You are receiving multiple calls per week from third party collection agencies
- You are receiving early morning or late night calls from debt collectors
- You are receiving calls at work from a debt collection agency
- Debt collectors are calling your friends, neighbors, or coworkers
- Collectors are threatening you with violence, lawsuit, or arrest
- A debt collector attempts to collect more than you owe
- You are being threatened with negative credit reporting
- A debt collector attempts to intimidate you
- Criminal accusations are being made towards you
- Use of obscene language during an attempt to collect
- Automated robocalls are being made to your phone in an attempt to collect
If you’ve been harassed by debt collectors and even one of these has happened to you, we can help. We will fight for your rights.
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