I get a large array of calls from debt collectors looking for people that have the same name I do but owe someone, somewhere money.   Lately, I’ve been inundated with debt collectors calling me and asking if I know my neighbors phone number!

Here’s how one call went recently.

Phone: Ring…Ring…Ring

Me: Hello?

Phone: Hi, do you know XXXXXXXX, he lives next door to you?

Me: Excuse me?  Who are you looking for?

Phone: I’m looking for XXXXXXX, he’s your neighbor right?  He lives at XXXX street and you live at XXXX street next door right?

Me: I guess so but I don’t know my neighbor that well (neighbor barely speaks English).

Phone: I want you to give him this message……and tell him to call me.

Me:  What?  Are you serious?  I don’t think that’s a good idea and I’m not a messenger service .

Phone:  But do you know him, I want you to give him the message!

Me: If you know where he lives, SEND HIM A LETTER AND ASK HIM TO CALL YOU!

Phone: OK, bye.

I figured that would be the end of it but the caller called back again and repeated the same script.   I told her to stop calling me and that she was breaking the law by doing so.  She quickly hung up but I suspect I’ll be getting another call soon from this person again.

I can only imagine that as the subprime loans, credit card dead beats, and other debtors descend into poverty that the collection calls are going to increase dramatically.

So I came up with a business idea.  Someone needs to create a company that will send a blanket cease and desist letter to ALL the debt collection agencies around the United States and offer a preemptive “cease and desist”  service for a nominal fee.  I don’t owe anyone any money and even if I did, the last thing I would want to do is talk to a debt collector over the phone so why not take a preemptive strike.   Some enterprising young man/woman might even make money out of the deal by suing the company that violates the cease and desist order and keep the fees or awards issued by a court.   Someone could combine this service with Grand Central service to pre-screen and route violators to the service!

I would sign up for this in a minute as my phone rings constantly from debt collectors looking for deadbeats with my same name.