Divorce Literacy Podcast

Jody Bruns and "Who is the Divorce Lending Association and the CDLP® - Certified Divorce Lending Professional?"

April 20, 2023 Divorce Lending Association
Divorce Literacy Podcast
Jody Bruns and "Who is the Divorce Lending Association and the CDLP® - Certified Divorce Lending Professional?"
Show Notes Transcript

Join Jody Bruns, President and Founder of the Divorce Lending Assocaition as she breaks down where it all began. Who is the Divorce Lending Association and the Certified Divorce Lending Professional.

Why incorporating divorce mortgage planning into the divorce settlement process is so important to the outcome for divorcing homeowners.


Visit www.divorcemortgagecourse.com for more information and to take back control.

At the Divorce Lending Association, our mission is to help divorcing homeowners make more informed decisions regarding their home equity solutions and the divorce team identify any potential conflicts between the divorce settlment, the mortgage, and real property.

Divorce Mortgage Planning is the ability to put into play the desired outcome by pairing the needs and options available while incorporating the necessary details and clarity into an executable settlement agreement to obtain closure and peace of mind successfully.

Are you going through a divorce and need informatin on refinancing your mrotgage or buying anew home once the divorce is final? Often conflict arises out of a lack of knowledge. We have an amazing workshop available allowing you to take control of your situation and divorce mortgage planning so you are in a stronger position to negotiate while removing conflict and unrealistic expectations.

Visit the Divorce Lending Association for resources and strategies on divorce mortgage planning.

Who is the Divorce Lending Association and the CDLP “Certified Divorce Lending Professional?

I’m Jody Bruns and I am the president and founder of the Divorce Lending Association and the CDLP – Certified Divorce Lending Professional certification program.

So, I’m asked quite regularly just who is the Divorce Lending Association and where did it all begin?

Well, my journey began a few years again when I went through my own divorce that involved real property, mortgage financing, and 5 children. I had to quickly learn not only the ins and outs of divorce but also how it affected both the marital home and the mortgage.

I was (still am actually) a licensed mortgage loan originator so fortunately I knew something about the mortgage side. But what really opened my eyes was this disconnect between the other moving parts of the divorce that directly impacted the marital home and the mortgage.

I’m a runner – it was always my stress releaser if you will when I’m struggling with anything. One morning I was running Mt. Falcon in Colorado – and this was shortly after the divorce so obviously things were still going through my head – anyway, it dawned on me that I could turn my pain into my passion, right?

I went back to the office and started pulling out all of the previous loan files I had worked on that involved divorce and I noticed this same disconnect between many of the files.

What do I mean by disconnect? Well, I mean that important things are often left out of the settlement agreement, or the language used it the settlement agreement conflict with mortgage underwriting guidelines, or how if something was tweaked just by a few words, the outcome could have been completely different. 

I am in no way blaming any party ya know the attorneys, mediators, financial planners, etc – definitely not! We all are experts in our own focus practice areas – you wouldn’t expect an attorney to know the mortgage world just like a mortgage professional doesn’t deal directly with estate planning and financial investments. We have all an understanding of these different fields – but what was eye opening was the direct intersection of all of these practices when going through a divorce and the marital home or other real property requires mortgage finances.

Divorce definitely is a game changer. A lot of people ask why does divorce throw a wrench into the traditional mortgage process? Fair question, right?

It’s literally because of the very definition of divorce. When we think of divorce, we usually think a marriage is done they aren’t married any more. Okay – that’s correct. But the definition of divorce usually entails the canceling or reorganizing the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage. And that very reorganizing, reassigning of debt and income can have a profound effect on qualifying for a mortgage.

It was then that my curiosity kicked in. I started researching various aspects of family law and real property, financial and tax planning and divorce – then cross referenced these findings with mortgage guidelines, etc. It was addicting to me! So I personally started focusing my mortgage business working with family law professionals and helping divorcing homeowners.

My journey continued from Colorado back to Illinois when I remarried. I was in Chicago, again working with family law professionals, after a continuing legal education class on divorce mortgage planning that I had just presented in DuPage county, the attorneys told me how they appreciated my educational approach and suggested that I write a course for other mortgage professionals. And that’s how it all began.

We released our first course in 2014 and fast forward to 2023 – the curriculum for the Certified Divorce Lending Professional CDLP has doubled in size at least 6 times. I am very proud of what we have built and how it has not only gained so much momentum and recognition in the family law arena, but the impact and help we are providing on a national basis for divorcing homeowners.

I guess the other common question is get – is what makes a CDLP different than another mortgage professional who has closed a mortgage loan for a divorced homeowner. Simply – the CDLPs background knowledge of family law, financial and tax planning as it affects real property and mortgage financing.

First, let me clarify – a CDLP does not provide legal or tax advice. 

Secondly, CDLPs are being asked more and more to participate early in the settlement process because we can work directly with the divorce team and the divorcing homeowners. We gain an understanding of what the expected end-game is (such as one spouse wants to retain the marital home – how can they effectively execute an equity buy-out or the marital home is being sold and both spouses are down sizing into two new homes)

The CDLP can put together strategies and options for the equity buy-out obviously, but the bigger advantage of incorporating divorce mortgage planning into the settlement process is the CDLP can identify any conflicts within the language in the settlement agreement back to mortgage guidelines that could literally kill any chances of mortgage approval. You might be surprised but the actual term used for support payments can make a difference as to what can and can’t be done on the mortgage side. Seriously – we can do different things based on whether support is classified as alimony, maintenance or spouse support.

It’s not uncommon any more for one spouse to receive a lump sum payment rather than monthly support – great we have a fat bank account and no monthly income to qualify for a mortgage. The CDLP can work directly with the attorneys or financial planners to create strategies to turn this lump sum payment into monthly income.

It’s not easy to obtain your CDLP certification. We have some CDLPs who also hold their series 6 and other licenses. Their comments when they finish the exam are “I haven’t taken a test as hard as this since my series 6 or even some say it was harder! We also have annual continuing education requirements – this is not a one and done program. Laws change, tax codes change and mortgage guidelines change all the time. The learning never ends.

Our goal wasn’t’ to make it tough – our goal was to educate and open the eyes of the mortgage professional that working with divorcing homeowners is a big deal. You can bring value of your can bring chaos.

For anyone considering starting a practice working as a Certified Divorce Lending Professional, service to others must be your highest calling. CDLPs are in a unique position to make a difference, and to positively impact a significant number of people at a challenging time in their lives.

The better you are at your craft, the better you’ll be at serving your clients.

We have a growing team of professionals at the divorce lending association. And every one of our team members are industry professionals. Personally, my educational background is business finance, I have worked in the lending industry for over 30 years, I am a licensed mortgage originator, a certified mediator and mediator trainer, Our college degrees are printed on the same paper stock as anyone else’s, but what really matters is that our entire team has actual boots on the ground experience and training. 

I would encourage all divorcing homeowners and anyone under the umbrella of family law to meet with a local certified divorce lending professional and learn more about incorporating divorce mortgage planning into your case management.

It doesn’t matter if the marital home is going to be sold and there isn’t an immediate need for obtaining mortgage financing, eventually one or both spouses are going to want to purchase a new home and the settlement agreement can still affect them 2, 3 or 10 years down the road sometimes so there is always a need for divorce mortgage planning in a divorce.

And let me throw this out there – it does not cost the divorcing homeowners anything to consult and involve a CDLP. You heard me right! Marital status is a protected class under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Typically a mortgage professional doesn’t charge a consulting fee for a first time homeowner so if they charge a consulting fee for a divorcing homeowner they may be violating ECOA. CDLPs are licensed mortgage loan originators who get paid by their employing brokers when they successfully close a mortgage loan. The goal of the CDLP is to provide enough value to the divorcing homeowner during the process that they have earned their trust to help with their mortgage financing.

If you would like to learn more about the divorce lending association and divorce mortgage planning, please visit our website at www.divorcelendingassociation.com. You can find a directory of Certified Divorce Lending Professionals on our site as well or a short cut just go to findacdlp.com

Thanks for tuning in today and we will see you on our next episode of Divorce Literacy at divorcepodcast.com