I kid you not. This is exactly the same entitlement/victim mentality that has gotten us into the bailout mess we are in. Irresponsible spender demands limitless credit. Cries “predatory lender” when the chickens come home to roost. Borrow. Spend. Whine. Repeat:
Oprah Winfrey’s mother should not have to pay a high-end fashion store the more than $150,000 it says it is owed because the store extended credit despite knowing her troubles managing debt, according to a new court filing.
Valentina Inc. sued Winfrey’s mother, Vernita Lee of Milwaukee, in July, contending that she racked up a bill of $155,547.31 in purchases and interest as of July 1. She was required to make a minimum monthly payment of $2,000 to the store, the suit says.
Mediation between the two sides failed last week, prompting Lee to file a counterclaim contending she does not owe the money.
The account is “unconscionable, and therefore, unenforceable because Valentina knowingly and unfairly took advantage of Lee’s lack of knowledge, ability, and/or capacity when Valentina created the account,” the civil lawsuit says.
It is the second time Lee and Valentina have been in conflict over her wardrobe bill.
In 2002, Lee was ordered to pay $35,000 upfront and make monthly payments of $5,000 until another past-due bill of $174,285 was paid, according to court records.
As part of the resolution of that case, a court order dismissing the case included the phrase, “Valentina Boutique, Inc., shall not at any time extend further store credit to the Defendant, Vernita Lee.”
The 2002 case was dismissed as long as Lee made the payments, which she did, according to the counterclaim.
Lee has had an open-ended charge account with Valentina since January 2004, according to the recent civil case.
Lee also contends that the store violated the Truth in Lending Act by not disclosing the finance charge and annual percentage rate in the account more conspicuously.
Perhaps they should have tattooed it on her forehead?
More: McNorman’s blog.