• Report: #412170
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Wed, January 14, 2009
  • Updated: Wed, February 10, 2010

  • Reported By:Oakhurst California
9841 Airport Blvd Ninth Floor Los Angeles, California U.S.A.
  • Phone: 310-649-0990
  • Web:
  • Category: Liars

HCC SURETY GROUP - HCC Surety protects contractor by falsifying investigative report Los Angeles California

*Consumer Suggestion: You can get help.

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HCC Surety employs CDS Group-Samuel W. Gearhart to conduct construction complaint investigations on landscape contractors. The report that Samuel Gearhart drafted is filled with errors and heavily biased toward the landscape company I filed my complaint on. When I contacted Tracey Payton with HCC and explained there were false facts in the report that HCC should review it and hire a competent contractor for its investigations, she sent a return message stating that HCC denies any wrong doing. Rather than looking specifically at one of the items I brought to her attention, that is clearly and blatantly false, she simply stated there is no wrong doing. Samuel Gearhart's report has the facts twisted about which contractor did what - creating falsity and complete confusion. He failed to state what he clearly saw when on my property doing his investigation. This falsified report has been intentionally drafted (in bad faith)to protect the landscape contractor so HCC does not get sue by him. When bonding companies pay out on a construction bond, they get sued by contractor. To protect itself from this action, HCC has clearly falsified the claims and conducted the most bogus, incompetent, and fraudulant investigation. They have provided the landscape contractor who cheated me with a report clearing him of any wrong doing which will make it almost impossible for me to prevail against bad landscape work. Beware of filing on a construction bond as you may experience this same kind of fraud.

Oakhurst, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/14/2009 05:51 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/hcc-surety-group/los-angeles-california-90045/hcc-surety-group-hcc-surety-protects-contractor-by-falsifying-investigative-report-los-a-412170. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

You can get help.

AUTHOR: Steve - (USA)

Just because HCC used someone to investigate your claim, doesn't mean you have to stick with that.  I am in the surety industry, and know.

First, you may wish to hire counsel.  Next, even if you don't hire a lawyer, re-contact HCC.  You have filed a claim.  Assuming that everything you've said is true, they'll have a file open on you, and your rights should be protected.

Claims should always be in writing; not a phone call.  Get this stuff typed up & on your letterhead.

HCC does not get sued by a contractor they've bonded, for responding to a claim that that contractor caused.  In fact, just the opposite.  If HCC pays out on a contractor's behalf, under bond, HCC will likely sue the landscape contractor they bonded.  Not the other way around.  HCC guarantees the contractor's work.  If the contractor defaults, costing HCC money, HCC will in turn (usually) sue the contractor to get reimbursed under the terms of their "indemnity agreement"... which is what the contractor signs to hold HCC harmless.  HCC is just backing the contractor's work.  If it's bad, HCC can be made to pay up.  What they are left able to collect from the contractor is their problem, not yours...and is the whole reason for a bond.

HCC's report is not the final word.  Just because they have denied the claim doesn't mean it is "final". 

I strongly, strongly, recommend you get a lawyer who specializes in "contract" work.  Not a probate guy.. a commercial guy specializing in contract law, and better yet, construction contract law. 

Your case is best if you are well documented.  Taking digital photos (especially in landscaper work) is very helpful to your case.  If HCC is jerking you around, they run the risk of being in "bad faith"...which for an insurance/bonding firm is really bad news.  Most states will allow triple the damages if that's the case.

If you paid for a bond on your work, you're due better than what you've gotten...if what said is the whole story & true.  If you have abided by the terms of the contract (payment, conditions & etc)

Send the following to HCC:
1- a copy of the contract (not originals!)
2- copies of invoices, and any canceled checks. (again.. copies, all.  No originals.  YOU keep those, okay?)
3- Put your complaint in writing the best you can, pointing out your reasons for dissatisfaction with the work.  (most landscaping contracts have clauses in there dictating the plants must live 2 yrs or so.. )  If the plants are simply in the wrong place, copy plans/drawings and submit those.
4- If you dispute the report of CDS Group-Samuel W. Gearhart, say why... in writing.  But don't let them dance around.  He represented HCC, not you.
5- Let them know you're hiring a lawyer. 
6- Carbon-copy ("cc:") the landscape contractor in all of this, and your lawyer.
7- If you really want action, carbon-copy the state insurance commissioner, telling them you feel you've been jerked around by HCC's claim department.  THAT will REALLY get action.

Good luck.
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