Armando Montelongo says he had a life-changing experience on the CBS show Undercover Boss, but the brash real estate boss still isn’t afraid to address his controversial past.
Montelongo was the star of Friday’s episode, a San Antonio CEO who oversees a $75 million real estate company and does so with plenty of bravado.
“I have the most amazing life,” said the 44-year-old CEO of Armando Montelongo Cos. “If I died, I’d want to be reincarnated as myself. It’s beyond great to be Armando Montelongo.”
In the episode, Montelongo saw what it was like to work on the front lines, teaming up with an electrician named Angel to work on homes.
In an interview after the show, Armando Montelongo said his biggest takeaway was a greater understanding and appreciation of his employees.
“I’ve done reality in the past,” Montelongo said in an interview with the San Antonio Express-News. “But this was so much more. It gave me a better understanding of how to deal with people around me and what they mean to me.”
Montelongo, who appeared on three seasons of the now-defunct A&E series Flip This House, also used the Undercover Boss episode to tackle his controversial past. His company earned an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau, but tried to put his company in a positive light by highlighting their strong customer service.
That’s not the only black mark on Montelongo’s past, however. In 2013, his brother David and sister-in-law Melina filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, owing creditors roughly $600,000.
Part of the problem stemmed from a dispute between Armando and David, the Houston Chronicle noted.
“As the couple’s debts accumulated, David Montelongo has been locked in a legal dispute with his brother and former co-star, Armando Montelongo, Jr. ‘When the economy and real estate market went south in 2008, it really caused problems with their business,’ [bankruptcy attorney, J. Todd Malaise] said.
“‘The Montelongos have been in real estate since 2001. Most of their debt is unsecured debt and it’s just been too difficult for them to pay those creditors,’ their attorney said. “So they felt Chapter 7 was the best option.”
At the time, Armando Montelongo was suing his brother, claiming that David ripped off his real estate training company. The bad blood also spilled over onto the show, the report noted.
“The feud between the brothers dates to the TV show. Armando Montelongo and his wife were on the show for three seasons, while David Montelongo and his wife stayed on for two seasons. The rift began on an episode known as ‘the cat house.’
“It involved a home where several cats lived for months without a litter box. David Montelongo thought the house was a tear-down but his brother insisted it could be renovated.
“David and Melina left the show after that.”
But Armando Montelongo said he was changed by his experience on Undercover Boss, saying it is something “every CEO should be mandated to go through if they want to run a great company.”