I live in the state of Georgia.

Today I received a phone call from a debt collection agency claiming that I owe them $22,000.00 on a debt from American Express. I disputed the debt, refused to verify it, and demanded that any further communication with me be put in writing.

The debt collector was particularly tenacious and stayed on the phone. He kept blathering on about how they had a judgment on me for this AMEX account from 1999. He didn't tell me what state it was from and claimed that the statute of limitations on this debt is 20 years (after I told him that even if it were mine, the SoL was up).

I told him that I'd never been served anything and that this sounded pretty fishy. He kept trying to get me to say I was "refusing to pay the debt" and I kept just saying that I needed verification and that I didn't know what he was talking about. Before hanging up on me, he claimed that he was going to pass this on to the agency's "legal department" and that I could have "fun" with that.

In 1999 I was 19 years old. One of my parents had demolished my credit during that period and I've since worked very hard to fight these debts and wait for my credit to regenerate.

I'm 32 now and have a 760-790 credit score. I've got a house and a nice mortgage. I have no debt. I checked all my credit reports today and there are NO judgments listed and no collections. This is the first I've ever heard of this. I'm sick of this crap haunting me.

Does it sound like I have to worry about someone trying to garnish my paycheck or put a lien on my house? If this thing is twelve years old, why am I hearing about it now?