Woman who nearly lost her home says home assistance program saved her life

Rocio Rubio fought through the tears Friday, but that wouldn’t stop her from telling her story to Southern Nevada Realtors of how a home assistance program saved her life and how she wanted to spread the word about the program.

The 59-year-old casino attendant at Excalibur for 25 years couldn’t work for eight months in dealing with lupus, fibromyalgia and a broken left arm that required surgery and was slow to heal because of her illness.

With limited funds after being off work, Rubio couldn’t afford her $596 a month mortgage payment. A home that she lived in for 21 years was in foreclosure and about to be sold out from underneath her.

“You worked so hard for something and it’s going to be taken away from you,” Rubio said through an interpreter in Spanish. “My thought was to put a suitcase in my car and drive to Arizona and drive off a cliff.”

The story captivated Realtors who listed intently during the program billed as the Southern Nevada Housing Event For Realtors at the Four Seasons. The event was sponsored by the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

Rubio received more than $10,000 in federal funds through a program called the Hardest Hit Fund. That saved her home from foreclosure in April. She has recovered from her broken arm and returned to work and has made the last two payments on her 30-year mortgage.

Rubio said she wanted to tell her story because she wanted to let people, especially those in the Hispanic community, know that help was available.

In January, Rubio contacted Home Again: Nevada Homeowners Relief Program, a program launched in January 2013 by the Nevada Attorney General’s Office with funds obtained from the country’s major banks as part of the National Mortgage Settlement.

The state uses the Financial Guidance Center, a nonprofit approved by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development to administer the program. It’s a statewide resource available for Nevadans looking for guidance, recommendations, and assistance in accessing resources to deal with housing needs. That may mean down-payment assistance programs for first-time homeowners, credit restoration for those hurt by the housing crisis and foreclosure prevention programs.

“This program saved my life to be honest with you,” Rubio said during an interview afterward. “When I saw the foreclosure paper on my door, I got so depressed. I had been praying day and night. It’s not easy to lose your house. I have been working so hard, and to lose it because I was sick was so bad. I went back to work in March, and they helped me. It was a miracle.”

Michele Johnson, president and CEO of Financial Guidance Center, said it was difficult to help Rubio because she got her loan through a hard money lender rather than a bank, and they weren’t willing to work with her to resolve the problem.

“She had equity in her house, and they weren’t willing to do anything at all,” Johnson said. “There was nothing that was going to change their mind. It would be wrong for her to lose her house. There are so many resources available. Folks just don’t know about them.”

Rubio is preparing to refinance her mortgage to lower her payments and go through a bank to prevent a recurrence in dealing with the hard money lender.

“I think you can tell how powerful her story is, and the help that she received,” Johnson said about Rubio who had left the stage to a standing ovation from the Realtors. “It’s incredibly brave for her to be willing to talk about it.”

Before she gave an interview Friday on Spanish-language television, Rubio said she felt compelled to speak out after the help she’s received.

“They need to know that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel,” Rubio said. “That is what they do.”

Johnson told Realtors to remember Rubio’s story and let them know that can be an advocate for homeowners and prospective homeowners and make a difference in their lives by guiding them to the Home Again program.

Since the free resource launched in 2013, there have been more than 20,000 phone calls, Johnson said. Attorney General Adam Laxalt has extended it through June 17 to ensure more people that need it are helped by it, she said. In the first quarter, they counseled 1,591 people and helped 358 people homeowners received mortgage modifications. Another 419 took part in first-time homeowner education classes, she said.

“You see the folks that need help,” Johnson said. “You see the folks that are taken advantage of. You see the folks that don’t know where to turn and don’t have the money to go to an attorney. We count on you to help spread the word. You don’t have to remember anything but Home Again. They can find it online or call a toll-free number.”

Dig This opens new location In Las Vegas
Remember when you were a kid and played with construction toys in the sand box? Dig This Las Vegas has the same idea, except instead of toy bulldozers, you get to play with the real thing. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Town Square developer Jim Stuart building again in Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ real estate bubble took developers on a wild ride, something Jim Stuart knows all too well. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Salon opens at Veterans Village
T.H.E. Salon, owned by Nicole Christie, celebrated their opening at the Veterans Village with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Southwest Airlines considering Las Vegas-Hawaii flights
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly says the airline is "very focused" on Hawaii. Hawaiians have a strong presence in Las Vegas.The city’s unofficial status is “Hawaii’s ninth island.” In 2018, at least 2,958 people from Hawaii moved to Nevada. Of those, 88.7 percent moved into Clark County, according to driver license surrender data. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 310,249 people came to Las Vegas from Hawaii in 2018.
Fewer Nevadans are celebrating Valentine's Day
Fewer Nevadans are celebrating Valentine's Day. About 1.2 million Nevadans are expected to celebrate this year, a 5 percent drop from 2018. A growing number of people consider Valentine’s Day over-commercialized. Others weren’t interested in the holiday or had nobody to celebrate with. But spending is expected to rise. Those who do celebrate are buying for more people. The average American is expected to spend about $162 this year for Valentine’s Day, a 57 percent jump from a decade prior. Katherine Cullen, director of industry and consumer insights at NRF
Foreclosures of mansions in Las Vegas
Las Vegas was ground zero for America's foreclosure crisis after the housing bubble burst. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rick Helfenbein talks about the impact of tariffs on the clothing industry
MAGIC fashion convention showcases men's clothing trends
The MAGIC fashion convention has come to Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to showcase some of the hottest clothing trends for men. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant Air flight attendants learn how to handle a water landing
Field instructor Ashleigh Markel talks about training prospective flight attendants for Allegiant Air getting live training with a raft for a water landing at the Heritage Park Aquatic Complex in Henderson on Monday. (John Hornberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks about the new Smith & Wollensky restaurant coming to the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks about the new Smith & Wollensky restaurant coming to the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery talks about Las Vegas return
Michael Feighery, CEO of Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, discusses the restaurant's upcoming return to the Las Vegas Strip.
Apartments to Come to Hughes Center
Developer Eric Cohen discusses his current building project at the Hughes Center office park in Las Vegas, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Stratosphere to rebrand to The STRAT
The Stratosphere, a 1,150-foot-tall property in Las Vegas will be renamed The STRAT Hotel, Casino and Skypod.
Local designers’ picks for the Las Vegas Market
The trends that local interior designers are noticing at the Las Vegas Market this year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trends in bath products at Las Vegas Market
Camille Herd, the showroom manager for European Bath Kitchen Tile & Stone, talks about the popularity of free-standing bath tubs. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Kitchen trends at Las Vegas Winter Market
Las Vegas Winter Market displayed kitchen trends that mirror common dining accessories at Strip eateries. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Emerging trends in gifts at Las Vegas Market
Julie Smith Vincenti, curator for the First Look showroom tour on gifts and lifestyle, talks about the emerging trends in those categories for this season. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Las Vegas house prices are rising
Southern Nevada home prices were up 12 percent year-over-year in November.
Caesars Republic Scottsdale
Caesars Entertainment Corp. is building its first non-gaming hotel in the United States in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Caesars Entertainment Corp.)
Interior designer Mikel Welch talks about trends for Las Vegas Market
Interior designer Mikel Welch, who also is the on-camera designer for TLC’s Trading Spaces, discusses the trends he sees for the 2019 Las Vegas Winter Market. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
SHOT Show 2019: MEGGITT Virtual Training
MEGGIT showcases its virtual training system at SHOT Show 2019 in Las Vegas.
MGM delivers 700 meals to TSA workers at McCarran
Chefs at Garde Manger at Mandalay Bay provided 700 meals to federal employees who are affected by the government shutdown. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
SHOT Show 2019: A "nonsemi-automatic” weapon
Brandon Dunham of Nevada-based Franklin Armory show off the company’s new rifle prototype it calls a “nonsemi-automatic” weapon. The gun does not use a gas system to fire.
Las Vegas-based concrete repair company knows how to beat the heat
ART Concrete Solutions, a Las Vegas concrete-repair firm, addresses the challenges of construction in the extreme heat and sun of Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas based company brings color to concrete in the desert heat
Semco Modern Seamless Surface, a Las Vegas surface engineering company, knows how to put color in concrete construction in the Vegas heat. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Fun photo booth at World of Concrete
World of Concrete show at the Las Vegas Convention Center sponsored by DeWalt gives conventioneers a chance for photos with giant tools. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
SHOT Show 2019: Laserstar Technologies
Laerstar Technologies showed off their laser engraving machines, that can be used to personalize anything from guns and knives, to medical tools and household items. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
World of Concrete Show has big equipment on display
World of Concrete Show has big equipment on display at the Las Vegas Convention Center including an impact crusher, concrete pump and a self-erecting portable concrete batch plant. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Shot Show 2019: Kalashnikov USA shows off new products
Jonathan Mossberg of Kalashnikov USA talks about new products on display at Shot Show 2019 in Las Vegas.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like