Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Lawsuit: Detroit-Area Dealer Wrongly Sold Car To Disabled Woman Previous Next
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Perfectgentleman
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Username: Perfectgentleman

Post Number: 240
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 1:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.clickondetroit.com/ news/11240339/detail.html

TROY, Mich. -- A woman has sued a suburban Detroit car dealer, saying it took advantage of her mental disability to lease her a new car when she came in seeking an oil change.

Amy Berner, of Berkley, said she has a bipolar mental disorder and said Suburban Imports of Troy used her impulsiveness to get her to lease a Mazda CX-9.

The lease on the $32,000 car called for monthly payments of $444.

The dealership isn't commenting on the suit.

Berner said her husband went in and explained to the dealer about his wife's disorder and was told to submit a letter from her doctor.

She said he did so, but the dealer dropped off the car anyway.

THEY SHOULD LET HER GIVE IT BACK!

(Message edited by perfectgentleman on March 13, 2007)
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Jimaz
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Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 1688
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 1:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I thought there was a Michigan law allowing consumers to back out of a contract within some specific time, like maybe one or two days? Has that law been rescinded?
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Homer
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Username: Homer

Post Number: 110
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 7:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The law you mention only covers specific circumstances.

www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ article?AID=/20070313/UPDATE/7 03130464/1003rs

The car dealer sounds like quite a slime bucket.
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Jimaz
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Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 1696
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 7:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Homer, thank you very much. I hadn't seen that article. That was very helpful.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2756
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 7:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's easy to dump on car dealers apparently because they, as a group, rank near the bottom in popularity contests. However, how does such a dealer know in advance he's dealing with somebody with a mental problem? One would think that a person legally competent to drive a car should have the legal, competent ability to contract. Bipolars, by definition, have their ups and downs.

Once any new car is driven off the lot, it is subject to a stiff depreciation hit. Should any dealer have to eat that loss if they afterwards mutually rescind the deal and he takes the vehicle back? The new owner is partially (totally?) responsible for that loss.
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Perfectgentleman
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Username: Perfectgentleman

Post Number: 246
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 7:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Livernoisyard -

I know what you are saying, there is potential for abuse if dealers start taking cars back. I just feel sorry for the woman and apparently they did provide a doctor's note to the dealer before delivery.

From a business standpoint, the bad publicity alone is cause for settling the matter.
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Luckycar
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Username: Luckycar

Post Number: 6
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 7:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My family sells used cars in Pontiac since the 50's.We wouldn't do this.If a person for any reason is showing any signs of "not being right",we would ask them to come back with someone.You don't take advantage of someone who is disabled.It just isn't worth it.Be polite and understanding,treat everybody the same and they will stay with you.
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Sstashmoo
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Username: Sstashmoo

Post Number: 41
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 8:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This sounds like BS on the customers part. How is the dealer supposed to know? Bipolar is supposed to be mood swings up and down. They aren't supposed to sell to happy or sad, or possibly in between people?

I would think if this lady is incapacitated due to her "disorder" the husband would have took the liberty to have all power of attorney taken away from her if he felt she was prone to making a booboo like this. If shes that easily confused, she doesn't need to be driving anyway.

I would say, they don't like the car...

Taking advantage of someones impulse, could be grounds for a lot of suits. A person doesn't have to be mentally impaired to be impulsive.
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Terryh
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Username: Terryh

Post Number: 220
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 8:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If true it is typical American greed and that dealership, or the individuals responsible as far as I am concerned are fair game for burglars; cons; and stickup artists. I witnessed two individuals trying to steal a truck parked at a collission shop and didn't think twice about calling the cops and helping them apprehend the crooks, but had someone been trying to burglarize, or if I was in the presence of someone 'slicking' the collision shop or car repair shop next store I would have minded my own business as there is no telling how many unecessary repairs or insurance fraud has been committed by those businesses.
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Mayor_sekou
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Username: Mayor_sekou

Post Number: 593
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 8:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey I leased my car from suburban Cadillac they were good people, not slime buckets. While unfortunate for the woman it looks like she is going to be stuck with this car, you cant really blame the dealer for not being a M.D. alert enough to recognize someone with a mental condition. And dont they have medications out there that deal with this disorder? Was she not taking them?

And isn't 444 a month a bit high for a $32,000 dollar car?
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Sparty06
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Username: Sparty06

Post Number: 4
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 8:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This dealer well get a lot of bad press from this and rightly so. However, legally he is in the right. This is unless they can prove fraud, duress or some other legal defense that will defeat the contract. However, assuming the contract was formed the woman has an obligation to pay. Once the dealer learned of the condition he hadn't yet delivered the car so he could've kept it on the lot and saved his money. Because he didn't do this he'll get a lot of bad press and rightly so. However, he isn't legally in the wrong and we don't necessarily want to change the laws to make him legally wrong. It is important that our legal system uphold contracts for all of us who make them day in and day out without realizing it. We need stability and order to function. Just because there isn't a legal remedy (assuming she has no valid defenses to say that a contract was never formed in the first place) doesn't mean this car salesperson isn't going to suffer from his actions.

(Message edited by sparty06 on March 13, 2007)
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Buyamerican
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Username: Buyamerican

Post Number: 3
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 8:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm glad it wasn't an American brand she wanted.

Terryh, your statement "If true it is typical American greed and that dealership, or the individuals responsible as far as I am concerned are fair game for burglars; cons; and stickup artists.", is a disappointing attitude to say the least.

Other than a trained physician, I don't think there is anyone out there that can just look at another individual and say they are incapacitated unless it's an obvious affliction. These people simply changed their minds and are looking for a quick buck.
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Johnnny5
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Username: Johnnny5

Post Number: 456
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 8:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How long did she have the car? That's the important piece of information missing here. If her husband brought back the car the next day that is one thing, but I have a feeling that was not the case.
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Perfectgentleman
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Username: Perfectgentleman

Post Number: 247
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 8:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Maybe the people who bought the car are full of shit, hopefully the court will determine the truth about that. I know it is not the dealers fault, but if these people are telling the truth then once it was known the lady was impaired, morally I think it is nice gesture to let them out of the deal. If they had the car for awhile and are trying to scam out of the deal, then the dealer is right.

(Message edited by perfectgentleman on March 13, 2007)
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2758
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 8:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't believe that all that free publicity would be all bad. The dealership might even come out ahead on this, especially if all the facts were presented. Knowing the news game from my working a dozen years in commercial radio/TV broadcasting, those initial news stories were often nothing like the real stories were afterwards determined to be.

Good weather, lack of crime, and no blood, guts, and gore make for bad media events, especially during the first three, generally boring months of the year, coupled with annual seasonal lows in advertising revenues.
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Ookpik
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Username: Ookpik

Post Number: 134
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 9:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Has anyone ever heard of having a newly purchased car being delivered to the customer's home - as happened in this case? I never have.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2759
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 9:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Doesn't Enterprise drive rentals to homes? I've heard of dealers claiming to drive high-end cars to homes before. But frankly, I rarely pay much attention to auto-dealer ads.
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Softailrider
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Username: Softailrider

Post Number: 16
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - 10:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

To make a 32000.00 sale in this economic environment - I'll guarantee they would have a porter drive it across the state .
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Buyamerican
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Username: Buyamerican

Post Number: 4
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 8:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just purchased a $33,000.00 Chrysler 300 C and I had to pick it up at the dealer. No offers to drop it off at my home. Too much paperwork and detail to do that. I have never heard of dropping a new car off at the house.
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 407
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 11:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Now why on earth would they say Detroit-area? Troy is a big enough known city to most in the region. If this were a national Web site or something, fine. But clickondetroit.com? C'mon. What? Don't want to tarnish Troy's Eden-esque reputation?
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Johnnny5
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Username: Johnnny5

Post Number: 457
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 12:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Delivering new cars is actually pretty common, most dealers will do so if you request it. My aunt recently leased a Chrysler without ever setting foot in the dealership. Someone dropped her new car off at her home, she signed the paperwork and the salesperson drove the lease return back to the dealership. Can't get more convenient than that.
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Rjk
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Username: Rjk

Post Number: 640
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 12:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Not only will most dealers drop the car off, they'll probably shovel your sidewalk and take out your garbage if it means moving a car off their lot.

Two years ago I bought a new car and had it dropped off at my house. That's the type of thing you don't ask them if they would do it, you tell them to do it.
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Sknutson
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Username: Sknutson

Post Number: 819
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 12:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This story made it onto Keith Olbermann's show this week - the dealer was one of the "worst persons in the world".

A bad business decision. Now they have to defend themselves from a legal suit, and the bad press will continue. I, for one, would cross this dealership off my list if I were in the area.
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Dougw
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Username: Dougw

Post Number: 1607
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 2:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why does this woman have the ability to make large purchases if she is going to claim mental disorder? She should not have had power of attorney to be able to do this in the first place.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3806
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 2:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just curious.... whenever folks purchase anything that requires a signature... do the sellers always check for power of attorney??

Just how does one check for that? Is there a county records hotline, or?
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2795
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 2:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Of course, the news media are getting the story spun from her POV. What if she made the initial inquiry to the salesman about buying a car in the first place? After all, she's bipolar.

When such a person is in a manic phase, who knows what they can do? I dated (for a very short time) one who was bipolar. Exciting experience, but not entirely enjoyable! Those mood swings turn on/off like hitting a light switch.

Besides, is it usual practice for dealers to hit upon the service customers for oil changes or lube jobs to buy a new car?

(Message edited by LivernoisYard on March 15, 2007)
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1953
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Username: 1953

Post Number: 1327
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 2:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If she was able to say...

"[I have] bipolar mental disorder and Suburban Imports of Troy used [my] impulsiveness to get [me] to lease a Mazda CX-9,"

...then maybe she isn't so vulnerable. That's a pretty astute statement.
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Dannaroo
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Username: Dannaroo

Post Number: 42
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 2:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I recently bought a car from the Mazda dealership mentioned in the article and I have to say that overall, everybody I dealt with in that dealership seemed to be a lot more honest and less pushy than the other dealers I visited in the area (VW, Ford, Honda, Chevy).

That's just my $0.02
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3807
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 2:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Tsk, Tsk, Tsk.... didn't buy American......
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Dannaroo
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Username: Dannaroo

Post Number: 43
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 2:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I never said I bought a "new" car from the Mazda dealership
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Buyamerican
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Username: Buyamerican

Post Number: 5
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 3:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dannaroo...was it American?
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Sknutson
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Username: Sknutson

Post Number: 820
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 3:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Don't they build Mazda 6's in Flatrock?
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_sj_
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Username: _sj_

Post Number: 1760
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 3:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have had new cars delivered from the dealer to my driveway.
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Dnvn522
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Username: Dnvn522

Post Number: 203
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 8:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bipolar people can appear very normal. There may have been no reason for the salesman to assume she had a mental disorder.
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Buyamerican
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Username: Buyamerican

Post Number: 7
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 11:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

An ax murderer can purchase a car anytime they want to....does that mean the dealer has to take the car back when they get caught and convicted? I don't think so. Just because the purchasers used the excuse that a mental condition existed when the purchase was made doesn't mean the dealership did anything wrong. I will defend this dealership (even though it was a Mazda dealership), only because it's the right thing to do.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2804
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 11:48 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A Mazda is a (better) Ford, of sorts...
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Dannaroo
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Username: Dannaroo

Post Number: 44
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 12:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No, the car I bought at the Mazda dealership was not American (it was indeed a new Mazda). The new Jeep I bought last summer (and still own) however is indeed American... I figure those purchases just offset each other (actually, the Jeep was more expensive than the Mazda so is that a net gain for the American makers?).

Back to the topic though, I would say that it is not the car dealer's responsibility to do a medical/psychological check on all of their perspective customers. If this woman shouldn't have been making these decisions, she shouldn't have been going to a car dealership in the first place.
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Thames
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Username: Thames

Post Number: 17
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 6:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I know a person with bipolar disorder.When she is in her manic stage she'll go shopping, spend a ton money by purchasing with a credit card and then comes home and throws most of it away - with the price tags still on the items!! Now that's f***ing CRAZY! Fiscal irresponsibility is part of the condition.

They are VERY good at hiding their condition to strangers, almost to the point where you think they are faking but once they get really "up there" they'll start spewing a bunch of religious stuff, talking about the devil, etc., to where it just starts sounding like gibberish. When they are on the low side, you can't get them out of bed.

I feel bad for the husband but I can't fault the dealer, like I said, they're good at hiding it. Unless she was really "up" they wouldn't know. Now if she WAS really "up" and talking the gibberish, well then shame on them because when they do THAT, you KNOW that the person isn't right.

(Message edited by thames on March 16, 2007)
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2809
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 6:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I knew a bipolar woman who thought nothing of taking out more credit cards to pay off the others. She thought she was quite clever about that type of cash management.

Then the down phase sets in, and she takes off from work, making her bad financial position even more precarious--until she feels like it's time to go back to work again. (She doesn't have a spouse to leech off of.) And on and on...
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Rjlj
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Username: Rjlj

Post Number: 289
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 6:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

2 sides to every story. The truth will come out in court.

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