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Toubles With the American Dream

Owning a piece of the American dream has turned into a home mortgage nightmare for one Leon County couple, and a recent national news story indicates they're not alone.

Clark and Rita Deal have a home mortgage through Ocwen Financial Corporation, which is based in Florida. They say Ocwen cost them thousands by miscalculating their balance, and Ocwen accuses them of not making payments even though they have the canceled checks.

Through CBS News, the deals found out their problems aren't exactly unique.

Clark deal built much of his home himself. He had no idea his house would build up to a mortgage hassle.

"It's very real we're going to lose our home, and this is our home. It's not a house or structure, it's our home," said homeowners Clark and Rita Deal.

The deals got a home mortgage through Ocwen Financial. They say the company miscalculated what they owed and falsely accuses them of missing payments.

"They said well, you're three months behind and I said ‘no, we're not’ and I had to send them the verification, this was a constant thing going on and on."

Then they saw a CBS News report featuring other families with similar problems.

"We've seen many consumers who have proof of their mortgage payments but nonetheless are receiving harassing phone calls, default notices and legal complaints leading to foreclosure, inappropriately," said David Berenbaum of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

In a statement to CBS News, Ocwen claims to "resolve delinquencies in eight out of ten cases..." That there's "no financial benefit to Ocwen in foreclosing..."

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition says there are three class-action lawsuits pending against Ocwen in California, Connecticut and Illinois.

Homeowners with concerns can contact the NCRC for more information. Consumer advocate David Berenbaum said he estimates 300 families have contacted his group or its affiliates. That number keeps growing as families realize they're not the only ones having trouble.

www.ncrc.org


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