The value of a CDLP

What exactly is behind the value that a Certified Divorce Lending Professional brings to the table?
The importance of perspective.

Perspective helps us understand from other positions, providing a better understanding and a broader vision through what we think, say, and do.

Certified Divorce Lending Professionals are mortgage professionals who have completed a comprehensive certification program with ongoing continuing education and development. Their ability to expand their vision of the normal scope of the traditional mortgage process is a great differentiator from mortgage professionals who work with an occasional divorcing homeowner.

We recently interviewed Jody Bruns, President and Founder of the Divorce Lending Association and the CDLP® certification program. We asked her what is behind the value of a CDLP® and the importance of background knowledge.

"In my opinion, background knowledge is everything when working with divorcing homeowners and members of the professional divorce team. To be a valuable resource to the divorce team, you must have a broader sense of how family law and financial and tax planning intersect with real property issues and the ability to obtain strategic mortgage financing.

I see daily mortgage professionals who think that the ability to work with divorcing homeowners is simply applying underwriting guidelines to the situation. But, unfortunately, it's much broader than that. Having such a narrow understanding of divorce's legal, tax, and overall implications can be devastating for divorcing homeowners in the future.

Divorce Mortgage Planning is very serious. It is not some shiny new object for mortgage professionals who may be struggling due to the increase in mortgage interest rates and are now looking for new avenues for creating mortgage clients. Unfortunately, when mortgage professionals fail to grasp the importance of background knowledge and training, they fail the divorcing homeowners.

I've seen mortgage professionals repurpose our blog posts and other educational articles. I've even seen where they've hijacked our mission statement of 'helping divorcing homeowners make more informed decisions regarding their home equity solutions.'

While imitation may be the most prominent form of flattery, it is ultimately a disservice to themselves, the divorce team, and the divorcing homeowners."

How a Different Perspective May Impact Your Divorce Case

Multiple perspectives are crucial to gain a complete understanding of a situation. For example, in a divorce, different views on different topics can affect the divorcing spouses in different ways, either positively or negatively.

Take the following questions, for example:

  • How would you calculate spousal support when the paying spouse has fluctuating income or an irregular pay schedule?
  • How would you handle spousal support vs. a lump sum payout?
  • How do you evaluate the home equity, the home equity solutions, and the options available?

Your perspective may satisfy the parties during the settlement process; however, the answer may negatively affect either party when obtaining mortgage financing.

You Can't Deny the Intersection is Real

Many times in a divorce, we are more focused on curing the problem at hand, i.e., distributing real property and assets, that we forget there is life after divorce. The biggest challenge is the lack of knowledge, understanding, and preparedness of how the various pieces of the divorce puzzle fit together and overlap.

One of the primary keys to a successful divorce is understanding the various puzzle pieces involving real property and assembling your professional divorce team. The image above represents a small fraction of what a CDLP® recognizes when working with divorcing homeowners.

The intersection of family law, financial and tax planning, real property, and mortgage planning is real.

The solution isn't as simple as who retains the marital home and who purchases new property.

  • The structure of spousal support may directly affect income for an equity buy-out.
  • Details about the real property may impact the options available for mortgage financing.
  • The verbiage in the marital settlement agreement may affect the ability of the vacating spouse to purchase a new home.
  • Ineffective use of money derived from a QDRO may constitute taxable income.

Jody Bruns' parting comment was, "You can provide value or chaos. Unfortunately, impeding mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution may directly affect the ability to let go of counterproductive positions rather than facilitating strategies and solutions. However, CDLP®s do make a difference, and having the knowledge and expanded vision of all things divorce makes them a great asset for the divorcing homeowner and the professional divorce team."

We thought we'd ask Jody one final question, "What are your thoughts on other divorce mortgage training programs that may compete with the Certified Divorce Lending Professional?" Chuckling, she responded with, "That's a question better suited for those many members who have converted to our program!"


If you are a divorce professional and would like to discuss integrating divorce mortgage planning into your practice, search our directory to find a qualified CDLP® in your area at

Are you a mortgage professional who wants to incorporate divorce mortgage planning into your practice? Visit

The background knowledge of each team member brings value, different perspectives, and better solutions. So be part of the solution – get CDLP® certified.



This is for informational purposes only and not to provide legal or tax advice. You should contact an attorney or tax professional to obtain legal and tax advice. Interest rates and fees are only estimates provided for informational purposes and are subject to market changes. This is not a commitment to lend. Rates change daily – call for current quotations. 

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