• The family’s equitable plan was mistakenly abandoned
Former homeless couple Becky and Ken Green are among many who lost their homes when the Caldor fire swept through Grizzly Flat.
The Greens’ story began with success at the now defunct Hangtown Haven homeless settlement. The Greens became more than residents of the camp, eventually volunteering and taking on leadership roles in the camp.
The couple then found work, got married and moved into a home in Placerville before purchasing a home in Grizzly Flat on June 21, 2019.
Fast forward to August 14, 2021 – the birth of the Caldor fire. The fire quickly spread and the Greens were ordered to evacuate.
“It was crazy,” Becky said. “We watched it all day and then it came so fast.”
The couple’s house burned down on August 17.
“It’s a punch because we worked really hard,” Becky said.
It was not the end of their troubles. The Greens have called the California Fair Plan offices to claim their home. The answer was bad news.
They were told that their insurance policy had lapsed for non-payment a year ago and that they had no fire coverage.
According to the Greens’ lawyer, the Greens opted for impoundment accounts to be sequestered by mortgage company Mr. Cooper, meaning the company would be responsible for paying their fire policy, according to the Greens. Lawyer for the Greens, Shanie Bradley.
Their premiums were paid in the first year, but the company didn’t pay the couple’s fair plan policy for more than a year, starting in mid-2020, Bradley said.
Meanwhile, the Greens ‘farmers’ insurance agent in El Dorado Hills wrote a letter to Mr Cooper, stating that fire coverage should be canceled. Mr. Cooper responded with a notice of cancellation of the fire policy.
The officer responded to Mr. Cooper, telling them the police were to be paid into the escrow account, but did not notify the Greens that their Fair Plan policy had been canceled, Bradley explained.
“Everyone who should have protected the Greens let them dry completely, even though they fulfilled their obligation by paying the monthly bonus to Mr Cooper from the start,” Bradley said.
Mr. Cooper then went through the insurance company Assurant to purchase compulsory insurance, a policy underwritten by a lender, bank or loan officer on a home when the owner’s own insurance is canceled or expired.
For the Greens, that would have meant that only the building structure – walls, floors and roof – would be covered. No personal effects or the cost of living outside their home would be included.
The Greens then followed a paper trail to prove Mr Cooper had made the mistake. Their fight for insurance was crucial not only for the couple but for the whole family. Their daughter, a single mother, is also the third owner of the house, Becky said.
“We bought it between three people and it’s crushed,” Becky said. “The goal for us to fight for this house was that my daughter was never in the position of having to have a relationship or to be with someone just for her own survival.”
The battle for insurance lasted a month. Then the Greens got some relief.
Mr. Cooper realized the mistake and admitted his total fault, Becky said.
Mr. Cooper demanded that Assurant pay off his entire fire insurance policy and the Greens received a check for $ 15,000 as part of their loss-of-use coverage.
Things are now starting to move forward for the Greens, Becky said.
Ken and Becky, their 21-year-old son Paul, their 27-year-old daughter and their 2-year-old grandson are currently staying at a guest house in Shingle Springs. They have access to two bedrooms and set up a tent in the backyard and will stay there for a few weeks until they find more permanent accommodation.
The Greens recently visited their Grizzly Flat property, a mark of the couples’ success.
“We don’t really want to go back,” Becky said. “We have lost our whole community. We are close to all of our neighbors. We all hung out on the porch and chatted in the evenings and we don’t have that anymore.
Becky remembered the things she lost in the fire, describing a set of Christmas dishes with cardinals on them that she bought in honor of her mother.
“There is a story about cardinals coming down from the sky, so they’re a great reminder of the loss,” Becky said.
These plates brought holiday cheer to the table for a Christmas Eve dinner last year, the Greens did some extra side work to make it happen.
Now the Greens are wondering how they are going to celebrate this December.
“It’s like, you can’t have Christmas when you don’t have a place to live,” Becky said. “I don’t even know if we’re going to go our separate ways. I don’t know if we will be together. I don’t know how we’re going to handle this.
Despite their defeat, the Greens could see a certain irony behind it all.
“The circle has come full circle and now we’re homeless again,” Becky said with a chuckle.
Even Paul found room for humor during their visit to Grizzly Flat.
“My son made a joke but it was very surreal,” Becky said. “We were sitting in the car yesterday and I said to him, ‘This is the first time I’ve lost a house that I haven’t screwed up’, and my son said, ‘Yeah, me too. It sucks to be kicked out by God.
Community support for the Greens has been massive.
Becky receives phone calls, cards and letters from friends and clients at her job, Robinson’s Automotive. Someone even slipped a $ 100 bill into Becky’s hands.
A GoFundMe has been launched for the Greens, which has raised $ 7,500 as of Sept. 17, according to Becky.
People also dropped off clothes and essentials, anything they thought might be useful.
A client of Becky knitted a shawl for her and she said she could feel the community’s attention in its carefully woven fibers.
“You curl up in it and you know you’re loved and you’re going to get away with it, but it’s tough,” Becky said.
Getting through this crisis is exactly what they plan to do.
“We can’t just fall apart because something shitty happened,” Becky said. “I mean, it sucks and we lost our home. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but as soon as we figure it out, I have no doubt that we won’t be without anything we need.
“We have a very strong faith,” Becky said. “God is # 1. That’s where our strength comes from.”