Payne Transportation Inc. and Bell Transport Co. Inc., two related trucking companies in La Palma, have filed for protection and reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
Thomas F. Newcomer, president and a shareholder of both companies, blamed increased competition from federal deregulation of interstate trucking operations for the losses that forced the two companies into bankruptcy.
"As far as we're concerned, the trucking industry is in bad shape," Newcomer said.
In papers filed in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Payne listed assets of $4.1 million and liabilities of $4.6 million. Bell listed assets of $940,000 and liabilities of $860,000.
Newcomer said he is the sole owner of Payne, a 10-year-old company that he purchased two years ago. He said that he and his brother are equal owners of Bell, a 15-year-old company that the brothers purchased about five years ago.
Newcomer said the two companies had combined revenues last year of $21 million.