I received a letter today from a collection agency. They claim that I owe $70 to a local business. I called the local businessperson to inquire about the claim. According to her, in 2006 I agreed to a $70 advertisement in a local publication. I have no recollection of making any such agreement (though I recall the offer) and neither I or my wife recall receiving a bill of any kind, though the lady claims she sent two notices. Apparently the advertisement was run, though I never saw it nor did I receive any acknowledgement of it from customers. Additionally, the lady is a somewhat frequent customer of ours but never mentioned the bill in person. And lastly, she indicated that she remembers my agreement but that it was never a contract in writing.
I floated the idea of meeting her half way but she didn't seem to interested. Additionally, I confess to being a bit annoyed that she took this small claim to a collection agency even though she also apparently forgot about the bill-she recently discovered it on her computer when she sold her business. Will the claim harm my credit rating?
Chime in readers. How would you handle this?