Several years ago a nice lady from Villa Rica contacted me. She had lived in her home a long time and had her mortgage paid down significantly. She had been contacted by a man named Michael Surgent and his company named Trinity Guaranteed Home Improvement. He promised her he would repair her home and he would arrange the financing. While Mr. Surgent clothed his words in religion and Christianity, he was selling her a bill of goods. Mr. Surgent took her money and the home remodeling never got completed. Our expert witness, a man with a long history in the home inspection business, including a number of years as a government building inspector, said that the work that was done was “less than tree house quality” and that the shingles, siding and windows were installed by people who had no skills in construction.
I filed suit againt Surgent and Trinity in Cobb State Court. Surgent used every trick to delay the case and attempt to wear us down. He did not answer discovery. He delayed. He filed bankruptcy. The bankruptcy was later dismissed. The bankruptcy made me as a consumer wonder if we would ever recover my client’s money. We nevertheless proceeded because, whether or not I ever got paid, I wanted to right the injustice to my client, and attempt to put this guy out of business. Mr. Surgent failed to show for Court proceedings. We had a hearing in which the Court found “that the work performed by the Defendant failed to conform with the standards of the building trade, was not performed in a fit and workman like manner, and failed to comply with applicable building codes. The work was “less than tree house quality.” The Court finds that the work performed by defendant was without value.” The Court awarded a judgment in the amount of $168,462.00 including attorney’s fees.
We still have not collected the judgment but other folks are catching up with Mr. Surgent. He was recently featured on Fox 5 Atlanta in his newest scam-allegedly helping people refinance their mortgages. I-Team: Trinity Corporation Part 2. We will be lucky if we ever collect any of this judgment but the satisfaction of knowing that we helped other consumers will be reward enough.