The housing finance setbacks that confronted Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, the soldier accused of killing at least 16 civilians in Afghanistan, are one part of his story that many U.S. troops would recognize.

Bales and his wife owned a home in Washington state she was trying to sell for less than its mortgage and another that sits empty with a "Do Not Occupy" sign from the city on the door. At one point, the couple owed more than $500,000 on the homes.

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