In 1999 I was laid off after only a couple weeks on the job ( company financial problems). At my exit interview I was given my last check.
A week or so later I received another check. Since I thought this was some kind of severance check, I cashed it.
In 2003 a collection agency called demanding I repay the money. I told them I didn't owe anything and never heard back. About three weeks ago this same company called again demanding payment. Again I disputed the charge.
My question: After all these years, if I actually owe this money, can they collect? If I refuse to acknowledge this so-called debt can the collection agency report this to the credit bureau?