Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Rick Cohen" of Minnesota, WTF?

"Rick Cohen" of Minnesota just gave me a call.  Before I go into the details of the call, I'd like you to know that when you google "Rick Cohen Minnesota," it goes to a state representative's page - Richard Cohen.  But no, friends, Rep. Richard "Dick" Cohen didn't call me, Rick Cohen (or so he claims) called me.  Why, you may ask?

My convo with Rick went something like this:

Me:  Hello?

Rick:  Hello?

Me:  Yes, hello.

Rick:  Hello.  How are you?

Me:  Fine, how are you.

Rick:  I'm Rick Cohen.

Me:  Good for you.

Rick:  Blah blah blah blah blah I'm trying to get in touch with your neighbor so and so, do you know them?

Me:  No.  [Pause - slight embarrasment and shame that no, I have no idea who these people are.  And there are only 6 houses on my street.  EEeek we New Englanders take this stoicism way too far.  Maybe I should get to know my neighbors?  Block party?]  How did you get my number? 

Rick:  From blahby blah insurance blah manual with names and addresses blah.

Me:  Mmm hmm.  Hold on.  [Me going to the computer, googling Rick Cohen.  Is this a senator?].  Ok, yes?

Rick:  So they own a travel agency and I have an important issue.  They are not picking up.

Me (thoughts to self):  WTF?  This guy is weird.  What's he calling about?  Is this mad shady?  Is this this guy's way of picking his victims if he's a serial killer?  Maybe I should hang up?  Maybe he's just some nice midwesterner confused by our New England cold blooded ways?  No, this is shady.

Me (now to Rick again): Mmm hmmm.  I don't even know you, so why would I give them your message?  Bye. 

Then I further googled the phone number Rick provided, and it turns out it's JSA Collections.  Fun!  I love debt collectors.  One time this guy called our house 500 times a day, insisting that someone with a last name similar to my mother's, but not hers, lived here and that we were lying.  He was soooo aggressive and rude and would say the most unbelievable things over the phone.  [Sidebar - reminded me of when I lived in DC, and within 5 hours of hooking up my home phone, I had 7 calls from debtors for 7 DIFFERENT people.  Before 24 hours was over I got rid of my land line].  Luckily, here chez les parents, I live in a small town where the police have time to help with this stuff, so they called the debtor back and insisted that whomever he was searching for did not in fact live in my house.  Thanks po-po! 

Basically, this Rick was calling neighbors to see if they could help him in his debt collection.  WHAT?  I googled this concept immediately.  Apparently, it's totally legal for debt collectors to call neighbors or co-workers or anyone whose number they can get their hands on in order to collect a debt.  However, they apparently must stop calling neighbors and others if those people tell them to stop.  I assume I'll be testing that theory sometime soon.

Rick Cohen, here's a written warning to you:  STOP CALLING MY HOUSE.  If you call again, you'll face my wrath.  And no, I'm not going to go talk to my neighbors re: their delinquency.  For one thing, I don't even know what they look like, and this isn't the way to find out!  For another thing, it is WAY tacky to call people's neighbors and shame them into paying their debts.  I mean, honestly. 

Please, dear readers, tell me your own debtor stories in the comments!  I love to share these horrible stories so we can all feel solidarity!


  1. I hear stories of collectors threatening to physically harm people. I've heard the messages on the news! I believe it! We used to get daily calls at work for someone who no longer worked here...sorry, not my job to track them down for you.

  2. Wow, so we can get calls from debt collectors even when we didn't get into any debt? Lovely.

    And yay for N.E. stoicism. :)