07/04/2013 08:28 EDT | Updated 09/03/2013 05:12 EDT

Family pays for 2 homes as sale to rent-to-own firm fails

Members of an Ottawa family who tried to sell their home to a rent-to-own company, which is currently facing $2.5 million in lawsuits, say they've lost thousands after the deal fell through at the last minute.

Lynn and Robbie Tremblay said Jean-Claude Lacasse of Golden Oaks Rent 2 Own offered them $295,000 for the townhouse they were selling.


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The Tremblays' real estate agent told them he couldn't get them a better deal, so the family took it and moved into their recently built new home.

The closing date for the sale of the townhouse was set for Feb. 28.

"So our date comes along, he calls us and says, 'Can I put it back a month?' We're like, 'OK.' Then he comes back again," said Robbie Tremblay.

"The final date was June 6. We got a call on May [23]: 'Sorry I'm out of the deal, and I'll give you the deposit down on the house and that's it.'"

'Can't believe this'

Lynn Tremblay, a baker at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, has been on stress leave while trying to pay for two homes.

She and her husband say they're trying to come up with thousands of dollars to satisfy the bank. The couple said Lacasse told them he'd pay them $44 per day until the deal went through, as well as other costs.

"It's awful, because we're out so much money, and this guy is getting away with everything," Lynn Tremblay said.

"I don't know, I just can't believe this is happening. I really just don't know what else to say …. The credit agencies are calling all the time, the bank's calling wanting their money, they keep freezing our accounts even though we have … some money in the accounts, they keep on freezing them every day."

The Tremblays say they're planning to pursue the matter in court. As CBC News first reported Tuesday, Lacasse is already facing 18 lawsuits claiming a total of about $2.5 million in damages.

'Ripping me apart'

"[But] like our lawyer said, you can sue anyone for a million dollars, but if they don't have it, you're not getting it," Robbie Tremblay said. "So it's another little stress where nothing's a guarantee.

"I would not want my worst enemy to have happen what happened to me. I don't look like I'm ready to cry or anything, but inside, it's ripping me apart. It's horrible."

Lacasse has not responded to repeated requests for interviews. In a statement, he said the company is in the midst of restructuring and that he will be in contact with buyers.

The statement said it hasn't been determined if anyone will lose money.