July 17, 2023

Shuttered Georgia trucking company files for Chapter 7


A Georgia-based trucking company, which reported a significant drop in revenue this year compared with the previous two years, filed for bankruptcy liquidation on Friday.

Big J Express LLC, headquartered in Norcross, Georgia, filed its petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

The trucking company, which obtained its operating authority in 2014, had 37 drivers and the same number of power units and hauled general freight. The company’s insurance is slated to be canceled Aug. 4, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER site.

In its petition, Big J Express posted gross revenues of around $1.5 million from Jan. 1 until its filing date of July 14. This is a substantial drop compared to its revenues of $6.1 million in 2022 and nearly $5.6 million in 2021.

Big J Express listed its assets and liabilities as between $1 million and $10 million, according to the petition. The shuttered company stated that it has up to 49 creditors and maintains that no funds will be available for unsecured creditors once it pays administrative fees. Janet Fobi is listed as the owner of the trucking firm.

Fobi’s attorney, Howard Kent, did not respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment. 

Among Big J Express’ top 20 secured creditors are Volvo Financial Services of Mobile, Alabama, owed more than $2 million for seven 2022 and 2023 Volvo tractors; Amur Equipment Finance Inc. of Grand Island, Nebraska, owed nearly $1.1 million for five 2022 Wabash National trailers; and TF Group Inc., doing business as Traycor Financial of El Segundo, California, owed more than $833,000 for four 2022 Wabash National trailers.

Big J Express trucks had been inspected 47 times and 17 had been placed out of service in a 24-month period, resulting in a 36.2% out-of-service rate. This is higher than the industry’s national average of nearly 22.3%, according to FMCSA’s SAFER data.

Its drivers had been inspected 86 times and 17 had been placed out of service in a 24-month period, resulting in a nearly 20% out-of-service rate. This is higher than the national average of nearly 6.7%.

Big J Express received a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration in Fort Worth, Texas, for an unknown amount in March, according to the bankruptcy petition.

On July 19, 2020, Lobi, on behalf of Big J Express, received two loans amounting to nearly $910,000 in COVID-19 relief funds through the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). 

Atlanta-based Kabbage Inc., now known as Lendistry, approved Big J Express’ first PPP loan application for over $570,000. In April, Lendistry acquired Kabbage’s PPP loan portfolio. Later that day, Lobi received a second PPP loan for nearly $340,000 from Bank of America of Dallas.

The website FederalPay.org shows the mailing address for Big J Express’ PPP loans as Lawrenceville, Georgia, which is the same address used in the company’s bankruptcy petition. The Federal PPP website shows the loans haven’t been “fully repaid or forgiven.”

The bankruptcy petition lists the SBA loan and the PPP loans as creditors with priority unsecured claims. 

A creditor’s meeting has been set for Aug. 21.

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