Attorney Jeffrey D. Mapes, J.D.
The great recession 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. 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 ten years ago without any staff, without any clients, and without any money. I’ve had a child spend a month in the hospital and dealt with all the bills that come along with that. I’ve been through a divorce, and I know how scary a new financial landscape can be.”
“Some attorneys don’t like to share their personal experiences with their clients, but I think that is shortsighted. When you can open up, let the client know you’ve been there and you know how it feels, you can build a strong sense of trust and comfort that is essential for the attorney-client relationship.”
“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 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 his 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.”