Milwaukee man to lose home for failing to pay parking ticket

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MILWAUKEE (AP) - Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said Monday he plans to help a man who lost his house due to foreclosure for failing to pay a $50 city parking ticket.

Peter Tubic, 62, got the ticket for failing to have a license plate on a van he had parked in his driveway in 2004, and ignored a number of follow up notices over the year. It finally led to the city foreclosing on Tubic's house last week after the fine amounted to $2,645 over the years.

The story was first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Public Investigator team on Sunday.

Barrett said that while it's important to comply with the rules and regulations, it's a "highly unusual situation."

"Foreclosing on a home is always, always a last resort and residents can avoid the downward spiral that comes with avoiding enforcements," Barrett said in a statement.

Jim Klajbor, the special deputy city treasurer, said they didn't want to acquire a parcel of land from Tubic, but called foreclosure a "last resort that we would persue."

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Richard Sankovitz ruled in favor of the city's foreclosure, but has stayed the judgment to give Tubic one last chance to explain why he hasn't paid or even responded.

Tubic said he accepts the blame for disregarding the 15 or more notices he received seeking payment and warning of the pending foreclosure on the house, which was fully paid off, but says he had good reason.

He is physically and psychologically unable to handle the situation, he said.

Tubic has been disabled since 2001, according to the Social Security Administration, and is diagnosed with psychological disorders that limit his "ability to understand, remember and carry out detailed instructions," according to federal documents.

"They're trying to take my house away for a parking violation," Tubic said. "I know it was my own fault for letting it drag on, I've been under mental duress. I haven't been able to handle this."

Tubic also suffers from chronic pain caused by degenerative diseases of the knees and spine, as well as chronic respiratory disease, diabetes and obesity, among other ailments.

"I can't sit by and watch a man who is clearly suffering from mental debilitation lose his home because of a $50 ticket," Barrett said.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

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