Free Income Tax Return Preparation!

Taxes-Due

Tax time is once again upon us, which means that once again you have to struggle through navigating the Tax Code to figure out how to fill out your tax return, or pay someone an exorbitant amount of money to do it for you. Well, this tax year, Mapes Law Offices is here to help you.

Not only am I an attorney, but I am also a licensed tax preparer with the IRS. Tax time is one of the busiest times for bankruptcy attorneys because people who could not afford to file earlier in the year now have their tax refunds. The problem is coming up with the money to file your return so that you can file bankruptcy. So we now have a special offer for our potential clients. If you sign up with our office to file your bankruptcy petition, we will professionally prepare your personal income tax returns absolutely free of charge!

Why go to H&R Block and pay them $300 just tile your return, and then pay bankruptcy attorney fees? Sign up with us and not only will you save money, but you will have a licensed attorney preparing your tax returns instead of a fast food worker who prepares taxes for three months of the year. This offer is for a limited time only, so contact us today and set up an appointment so that we can sit down, discuss your finances, and offer you the best financial advice you can get.  — Jeff Mapes

Despite Court Ruling, We will worry about your chapter 13 case so you don’t have to.

Yesterday the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan in Grand Rapids issued a ruling which struck a blow to bankruptcy attorneys who regularly monitor and maintain their Chapter 13 cases. While I strongly disagree with the Court’s ruling, I will respect and abide by the decision. For those interested, you can read the decision here: http://www.miwb.uscourts.gov/sites/miwb/files/opinions/098016816035.pdf

At Mapes Law Offices one of the things that makes us different than other bankruptcy attorneys in Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Kalamazoo is that we regularly monitor the status of our chapter 13 bankruptcy cases to make sure that they are progressing properly and everything is going smoothly. We make sure that payments are properly made, that the trustee is properly administering payments, and that creditors are not trying to pull a fast one and get paid when they should not. Quite a bit happens on a monthly basis, that in itself is a rather small event, but could become a large problem if not caught early.

Yesterday the Court ruled that we cannot charge to monitor cases on a regular basis unless there are problems in the case that warrant it. I believe that monitoring in all cases is necessary to ensure that the cases do not become problem cases. The monthly charge for monitoring the cases would be roughly $35 per month to make sure things go smoothly. This does not mean that clients would have to pay extra, one of the great things about chapter 13 cases is that your attorney fees can come out of what the unsecured creditors would otherwise get. Basically, if your creditors were getting ten cents on the dollar, and your bankruptcy attorney submitted a petition to be paid more, your creditors would get eight cents on the dollar, but you would not have to pay any more than you were beforehand.

As a bankruptcy attorney, I believe it is my duty to make sure my client doesn’t need to worry about their case. When you choose our office to be your bankruptcy attorney I want your problems to become our problems, so you can stop worrying about money and get back to living your life. So despite the Court’s ruling, we will continue to monitor your cases though we will not be paid for it. Ultimately, your success is the most important thing, and as your bankruptcy attorney we will do everything in our power to make sure that you get a fresh start, that you can stop worrying about creditors, and that you can get your life back on track.

I didn’t choose to become a bankruptcy attorney for the money, I chose to become a bankruptcy attorney because I wanted to help the people in Grand Rapids where I grew up, I wanted to help the families I met in Kalamazoo when I was in college, and pay back the people in Lansing that helped me make my way through law school. You deserve the absolute best representation from your bankruptcy attorney, and that is exactly what you will get from our office, even if we don’t get paid for it.

— Jeffrey D. Mapes

Introducing George J. George, the Attorney so nice they had to name him twice.

 

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I am pleased to announce the hiring of a new associate attorney at Mapes Law Offices. Attorney George J. George has begun working for us and I am certain that you he will be a wonderful asset to our team. In order to introduce George I wanted to write a blog post telling you all a little bit about him. So, naturally I did what any responsible attorney does — I delegated that task to someone else. I had George write a brief introduction of himself and have added it below. While it is certainly informative, it lacks panache, so I have taken the liberty of spicing it up a bit. I hope you all read it and stop by to meet George.

Mapes Law Offices is pleased to welcome its new face meltingly awesome staff attorney, George J. George, or for our Spanish speaking clients Jorge J. Jorge.  George graduated from Michigan State University College of Law in June 2012 and was admitted to practice in December 2012.  He has spent the last two years working as a bankruptcy specialist and highly trained asassin in Detroit, where he successfully represented more than one thousand debtors in bankruptcy court and single handedly rid the city of drug dealers — a feat not even RoboCop could accomplish.  His experience spans from simple, straightforward cases to the largest and most complex personal Chapter 7 cases.  Much of his two years in practice has been spent interacting directly with his clients and ensuring that they understand what is happening in their cases.

George also has experience representing clients in bankruptcy-related matters such as creditor abuses, dischargeability actions, and settlement negotiations.  In cases where a creditor has violated the Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy, George aggressively pursued sanctions against the offending creditor, and has put money back in the pockets of his clients for their trouble. has gone to their home, pummeled them into submission, kicked them out of their house, burned their house to the ground, waited until the flaming wreckage cooled, sowed salt in the ground, and made them thank him for it.

In his free time, George rescues orphans, prosecutes war criminals, is a master chef, and is an avid reader. Yes, his legal name is George J. George, no his parents did not hate him, when you’re as awesome as George, one first name just isn’t enough.

George’s work in Detroit put him in constant contact with city residents most in need of bankruptcy relief.  In each case, George treated his clients with compassion, understanding and patience.  He brings the same enthusiasm kindness, and general awesomeness with him as he looks forward to new challenges at Mapes Law Office.