Jeffrey David Mapes
29 Pearl St NW
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503
Telephone: (616) 719-3847
Firm: Mapes Law Offices
Mapes Law Offices was founded in October of 2008 and started with one bankruptcy lawyer in one small room. “The first day my new office was open was literally the day after my honeymoon. We started with no staff, no clients, and no money” recalls Jeffrey. Since its humble beginnings, Mapes Law Offices has grown to become the largest and best bankruptcy law firm in West Michigan. “Our success has allowed us to grow from one bankruptcy lawyer in Grand Rapids to having offices in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo and Holland.”
Mapes Law Offices helps hundreds of clients throughout West Michigan every year, and is respected among the legal community for its excellence and experience. “One of the biggest sources of our business is from other attorneys who want their clients to get the best service. Sometimes, even from other bankruptcy lawyers who feel a case may be too complex for them to handle.” Jeffrey Mapes has spoken on several panels at educational seminars, and is respected in the legal community for his creative thinking and willingness to challenge the conventional wisdom in pursuit of his client’s goals.
There are several reasons why Mapes Law Offices stands out above other law firms, but it is the education of its bankruptcy lawyers that gives them the edge. “In Michigan, attorneys are not required to attend any continuing legal education; however, it is so important to stay up-do-date on the changing laws that our attorneys average at least 30 hours of continuing education every year.”
At Mapes Law Offices, the dedication to clients doesn’t end when their case does. When you hire us, you are hiring us for a lifetime. If you have problems with your budget, we will sit down with you even if it has been years since your bankruptcy was filed. Our goal is to put you on solid financial ground, and we will be with you every step of the way, and will always be there in the future if you run into problems. Our mission is to help good people through bad times and our staff is well trained, professional, kind and understanding of your unique needs and circumstances.
The financial crisis of the past few years has unleashed a staggering number of bankruptcies and foreclosures nationwide, unfortunately Michigan seems to have been at the center of the storm. Families and small businesses all over West Michigan have been hurt, and that is where Jeffrey Mapes steps in.
An experienced bankruptcy attorney and founder of Mapes Law Offices, he is on a mission to help turn people’s financial situations from hopeless to hopeful. This mission is especially difficult given that places like Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Holland have been devastated by foreclosures and job losses. Amid the storm, Jeff offers hope and real relief to people struggling, helping them to avoid losses and help themselves into a better financial future.
“I understand and empathize with my clients because I’ve been through tough times. I opened my own office five years ago without any staff, without any clients, and without any money. I had just gotten married and I didn’t know if I would even make enough money at my new office to pay next month’s rent. I know how the fear can paralyze people and cloud their judgment, that is why I love being able to step in, offer advice and help people keep their home, their money, and their sanity.”
“I understand and empathize with my clients because I’ve been through tough times … I knew when I grew up I wanted a career that would allow me to provide for my family, and help others provide for theirs.
Jeffrey’s vision is formed by his own financially precarious childhood in Grand Rapids. “I grew up the poor kid of a single mother who worked two full time jobs in order to put food on the table. We never had much, and I saw the toll the stress took on my mother,” he recalls “I remember learning early on that if I wanted anything I had to earn it, my sister and I had to get jobs to help make ends meet. I knew when I grew up I wanted a career that would allow me to provide for my family, and help others provide for theirs.”
That desire led Jeffrey to Kalamazoo College where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in History, followed by a Juris Doctorate degree with Honors from Michigan State University College of Law in East Lansing. The combination of a liberal arts education which stressed the importance of thought, and the business like legal education has helped Jeffrey to fulfill her personal and professional goals. “Kalamazoo College instilled a love of learning in me, this love has made me one of the best bankruptcy attorneys in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo or Holland because I never stop learning and never stop asking questions.”
Jeffrey’s experience and expertise in consumer bankruptcy – specifically chapters 7 and 13 – makes all the difference. “Our firm has shown time and time again that our dedication to the client does not end when their case does. Our job isn’t done until we have done everything possible to help clients lead a financially successful life,” he explains. “I love seeing my clients, but I know I am most successful if I never need to see them again. If my clients exit bankruptcy with a better understanding of their finances, what mistakes they made, and how they can avoid them, then they will be set for a bright future.” In fact Mapes Law Offices requires all clients to undergo credit counseling and financial education courses. “It makes no sense if our clients leave without knowing how to properly budget, or why a high-interest rate is a terrible idea. Even if our clients have questions about budgeting several years after the fact, we will meet with them and go over their budget with them for free, to see how we can help them.
Being a busy bankruptcy lawyer in the worst recession in decades doesn’t leave a lot of free time, but Jeffrey makes sure that he is not so busy making a living that he forgets to make a life. Jeffrey’s hectic schedule doesn’t prevent him from engaging in his eclectic and versatile hobbies including golfing, playing guitar, pistol shooting, and cooking. “I love my job, but on August 17, 2012 I got the best job in the world when I became a father. Hiring my new associate attorney Elizabeth has allowed me to take more time and spend it with my son Isaac and wife Katherine. I think being a father and husband makes me a better attorney because no matter how stressed I am, coming home to a family that loves me allows me to start each day clear of mind and focused.”
Affiliations & Memberships:
Debtors Bar of West Michigan, Executive Board Member
Grand Rapids Bar Association
Ingham County Bar Association
National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
American Bankruptcy Institute
Bruce D. Fox
Richard S. Lawson
Boca Raton, Florida