Over six months ago, I started receiving calls & voice mails from a debt collector. I never answered the phone and eventually blocked them. I didn't have any debts (that I was aware of) so I assumed they had the wrong person.
Just now I noticed that there is a derogatory mark on my credit report from this collection agency. It listed the original creditor as a medical facility I have been to, but do not knowingly owe any money to.
At this point my conclusion is that the debt collector has the right person, but the original creditor either erroneously assigned a debt to me or never once informed me that I owed a debt to them.
What is the best way to go about getting this resolved? Who should I contact first?
My goal is to get the derogatory mark off my credit report. I'm willing to pay the debt if the creditor can prove to me that I owe them, but which party would I pay? Do I have any other retaliatory options against the creditor if I can determine that they either falsely assigned the debt to me or failed to contact me?