Two and a half years ago, Robert and Amy Ahleman, a construction contractor and a financial services employee, were mired in a mortgage nightmare. After missing just one loan payment on their modest, well-kept bungalow in Bensalem, Pa., the couple began receiving notices from their lender. Default fees and eviction threats followed. As the amounts they owed ballooned because of mounting late fees and other dubious charges, their lender refused to take their payments, claiming they were insufficient — which put the Ahlemans even further behind. The couple soon realized that filing for bankruptcy was the only way to save their home. At the time, the Ahlemans had two mortgages, one for just under $200,000 and a second for $50,000, and the debt was smothering them. Today, however, the Ahlemans have a happier story to tell. Not only did they survive their harrowing experience with their home intact, but they say they have emerged happier and thriftier for it.