Milwaukee Forecloses on Home of Disabled Man Over Unpaid $50 Parking Ticket

Peter Tubic might not have known in 2004 that he could not park his own broken down van in his own driveway without a proper license plate. What he surely did not know is that the $50 ticket could eventually cost him the house itself. The city foreclosed on his $245,000 home after the accumulated penalties pushed the ticket to $2,600.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Richard Sankovitz has stayed the judgment to give Tubic one last chance to explain why he didn’t pay the ticket, though he did rule in favor of foreclosure. The obvious problem is Tubic has not responded to the prior notices.

Tubic, 62, admits that he failed to respond to over a dozen notices. However, he has been legally declared disabled since 2001. He has been diagnosed with psychological disorders that limit his “ability to understand, remember and carry out detailed instructions,” according to Social Security Administration. He also suffers from physical disabilities due to degenerative diseases of the knees and spine, as well as chronic respiratory disease, diabetes and obesity.

The truck itself was disabled due to radiator problem. It was originally parked in the home when it belonged to his parents and he could not get new plates because it could not make it to an inspection center. He did not have money to repair it and his parents needed attention with a father suffering from dementia and a mother battling cancer. When his father died, he says that he lost track with the ticket and generally fell apart.

Ronald Roberts, a code enforcement manager with the Department of Neighborhood Services, suggested that the city was merely protecting the neighbors who do not want nuisances in the neighborhood. “Put yourself in the position of the neighbors,” he suggested. However, the original complaint was filed not by a neighbor but by Tubic’s brother, Jovon Tubic, before the deaths of the parents.

Roberts added “If someone says, ‘I’m dealing with a death,’ we’re going to be reasonable and give them a 30-day extension,” he said. “But $1,475, that’s a lot of months mourning – not to be insensitive.” It is hard to imagine anyone claiming insensitivity by the city in this case.

For the full story, click here.

21 thoughts on “Milwaukee Forecloses on Home of Disabled Man Over Unpaid $50 Parking Ticket”

  1. Mespo,
    I follow everything you write here, your erudition is extraordinary and reading your posts is a learning experience.
    Jill, Rafflaw,
    Good discussion and I like and will use “2 percenters” as a substitute for elite. To add a thought as to their motivation I believe that they truly think of themselves as blessed and entitled. Analogous to the old “Divine right of Kings.”

  2. Jill,
    Even if the idea is a good one for the troops, I doubt that Bush/McCain would ever consider it. It doesn’t help their fascist agenda.

  3. rafflaw,

    I think there was info on this in the book, Maxed Out (not certain I have the right book), The author recounted a great many financial problems for our vets and soldiers. Your idea is a good one.


  4. Jill,
    The 2 percenters are making money off of the troubles many are having during these tough economic times. They don’t want anyone to help the the owners in trouble because the 2 percenters will be among the bidders at the foreclosure sale if the property is valuable enough. I don’t expect them to change their stripes and begin to care about their fellow citizens who are less fortunate to them. I would be interested in knowing how many of our soldiers in harms way are facing foreclosure? I would like to see a moratorium on foreclosures for at least a year as long as the owners are paying at least 1/4 to 1/2 of the current payment. The adjustable sub-prime loans are a horse of a different color.

  5. Mike,

    That was so well put. What really scares me is the 2 percenters at the top are so ideologically driven that they simply will not take effective action to make the economy work as those steps would literally offend their worldview. They would have to respect the “lower orders” as people who work hard and deserve a good life. They would have to stop practicing “socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor”.

  6. Think of the money he could have saved had he pushed the thing in the garage and shut the door. Of course the estranged brother could have helped him with that but…. nothing like family!

  7. MIchael Spindell:

    “Many in America have bought the crap about personal responsibility and people suffering the consequences of their behavior. The reason I feel it’s crap is because while imposing a “personal responsibility/work ethic” mentality on the masses, many of the elite that run this country don’t hold themselves accountable to anything like the same standard.”


    Amen Michael. I don’t know if you’ve been following my discussion with Patty C about one of my favorite historical US politicians. In any event, I read a quote last night from Thomas Brackett Reed, former House Speaker, and was impressed. Little did I know it would foreshadow your comment about the ruling elite and the idea now just dawning that the “pull yourself up” mentality is perhaps just as much an “opiate of the people” as organized religion. Reed, a product of Maine’s pubic schools and no friend of social pretense, said: “[i]t is a very lonely life that a man leads, who becomes aware of truths before their times.” After reading your cogent analysis of the ruling elite, I believe I know what he meant–and alas I think so do you.

  8. Jill,
    While it would seem to make perfect sense for a bank to renegotiate, rather than foreclose, we can’t assume logic in the way people run their businesses. Many in America have bought the crap about personal responsibility and people suffering the consequences of their behavior. The reason I feel it’s crap is because while imposing a “personal responsibility/work ethic” mentality on the masses, many of the elite that run this country don’t hold themselves accountable to anything like the same standard. The truth of this is seen in the current bank bailout and the 90’s Savings and Loan debacle. How about the $20 Billion given to the airlines after 9/11?

    However, when some poor peon is overwhelmed by debt the elite and the opinion makers of the US heap approbrium on her/his head. Most who post here could offer even more cogent examples. I can’t tell you how angry it makes me when I see someone like George W. Bush, or others of his ilk moralize about average people, after having done nothing in their lives to deserve the successes they’ve achieved. It isn’t the nepotism that bothers me, I’d of course do whatever I could for my children, it’s the lack of compassion for less fortunate people that they evince, despite their protestations of being moral and/or religious.

  9. rafflaw,

    That helps me to understand a piece of the foreclosure business. Now do you or does anyone understand why a bank will not renegotiate a loan with a family facing the loss of their home. Who is making money on this deal? If the bank puts it up a auction they only get so much on the dollar. In the meantime the house has been empty, neglected and perhaps stripped bare. How is this profitable? It seems like a bank would be better off settling for affordable payments from the people living in the house than going through this process. There has to be something in it though, or I don’t think they’d do it.

    My friend was kicked out of his house in the dead of winter with about 2 feet of snow on the ground and temps at -0. He was taking care of his disabled son, and is himself disabled. They had to give him a few days to move because he couldn’t even get the moving trailer out of his drive. It was disgusting.

  10. Jill,
    They put the lien on the property in the amount of the fine and since the fine keeps going up, the van would not be worth enough to guarantee payment of the lien. Here in Illinois, the Real Estate taxes are paid to the county and if not paid, the county sells the lien to bidders who bid certain interest rates and then they collect from the debtor with the added interest rate on their and late charges. Eventually, that creditor can also foreclose on the real estate for non payment of the taxes. Every year it seems we have news of a disabled or elderly person who does not pay the taxes and does not understand the importance of the notices and they lose their homes. It is a system designed to make money for the investors and save the counties from not getting paid. Who cares if someone’s grandmother or uncle lose their home. So what, we followed the law. It is sad.

  11. Why couldn’t they have just taken the Van? No, they wanted his porperty, period!

  12. Jill,
    I agree with your “Children of Men” comparison. I also think that there ought to be a way for this disabled Milwaukee citizen to recoup his losses if he does lose his house. I hope a Milwaukee attorney would come forward to offer his/her services to assist him in solving this potential disaster. Then I would like to see some citizen pressure be brought against the city administrators who are sitting on their hands.

  13. seamus,

    This govt. is working on it. Banana republic here we come.

    I have to say I don’t understand how the top 2% thinks a society can run with the rest of the population in financial ruin. I’m not talking about them having compassion, although that would be nice, I’m speaking from a ruthlessly practical perspective. It just won’t function. If some people in that class don’t pull their shit together and figure this out we’re heading for a real “Children Of Men” senario.


    I totally agree. These actions have every chance of causing a mental/physical death spiral for this man. I wish he could sue for damages. This was all completely forseeable.

  14. This is an example of the worst of our governmental system. I agree with Jill that it would have been so simple to work out a payment plan that I am amazed that the Judge did not bring this up. Must the local bar association get involved to assign a pro bono attorney to this matter to get some justice for a disadvantaged home owner? I am a little surprised that this happened in Milwaukee because I have known Wisconsin as a very progressive state when it comes to individuals rights and protections. Why can’t the City just leave a lien on the property until the house is sold? If the house has legitimate value,wouldn’t that be more sensible and cost the city less time and headaches? Not to mention better publicity.

  15. As someone who has worked with people like Mr. Tubic, I can only feel sad at the dislocation and deterioration that will be visited upon his life by the lack of thought involved in the City’s action. Mr. Roberts, if he indeed believes his rationalization, exemplifies the idiot mentality of some Civil Servants. I’m stating this as one who spent 32 years as a Civil Servant and often was exasperated by some who put procedure over humanity.

  16. Someday very soon there will no longer be a middle class. They will be nickle and dimed to death from above and below.

  17. Judge Richard Sankovitz approved of the foreclosure on poor, disabled Peter Tubic. Enough said.

  18. Let’s see disabled vehicle in the yard and mildly upset neighbors (with an estranged brother in the mix) justifies throwing a disabled man into the streets. Madame DeFarge would love this story to weave into her knitting.

  19. Job well done. What else was there to do, work out a payment plan or something?

    As to public nuisance-wasn’t there something about that in the foreclosure bill that just passed? Something about cities getting money to buy and perhaps raze foreclosed homes due to their “nuisance factor”?

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