Obama explains how gov't programs saved Sun City woman's home

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- A Sun City woman was surprised to be put in the spotlight by President Barack Obama during his speech in Phoenix on Thursday.

"I was just flabbergasted. It was very exciting," Lorraine Cona told 3TV.

The president told the crowd about Cona losing her job as a state librarian five years ago and nearly losing her home to foreclosure.

She used a federal program called the Hardest Hit Fund to get back on track.

"It's a program that we created to help folks in states like Arizona that had been especially hard hit by the real estate crash," Obama told the crowd.

"They helped her make her late payments, because she had a great track record until she had lost her job. They set her up with financial counseling so she could stay on track," he added.

"It's been a godsend," Cona said. "I would've been out on the street probably."

Cona spent time talking to a White House speech writer a few days ago, but she never knew her name and story would be included in the president's appearance.

She had a front row spot to the speech, and she got a hug and kiss from Obama on his way out.

"He said he liked librarians, so that was neat. I told him how thankful I was for the mortgage program," she said.

"Lorraine came back, just like Phoenix has come back, just like Arizona has come back," the president said.

Cona says she is surrounded by Republican neighbors in her heavily conservative Sun City neighborhood.

"In fact, when they called from the White House, I thought it was one of my Republican friends playing a joke," she remembered.

Information on the programs Cona used to prevent foreclosure can be found here:

www.azhousing.gov

www.treasury.gov/initiatives/financial-stability/TARP-Programs/housing/hhf/Pages/default.aspx