We’re excited to kick off our weekly HW+ member spotlight! For the first HW+ spotlight, we’re featuring Kris Kully, a partner at Mayer Brown. Kully previously worked at the Department of Housing and Urban Development as a senior attorney, in the legal division at Fannie Mae and as a partner at K&L Gates. At Mayer Brown, Kully advises clients in the consumer financial services and real estate settlement services industries in connection with federal and state consumer protection, licensing, and practice requirements.
Below, Kully answers questions about the industry:
HousingWire: To start off, what is your current favorite HW+ article?
Kris Kully: “Industry relieved that Ginnie Mae is no longer being ignored” – I was happy to read about Ms. McCargo’s nomination. She has deep housing industry experience, and Ginnie Mae is important to the U.S. housing finance industry and deserves a strong leader.
HousingWire: What is the weirdest job you have ever had?
Kris Kully: I was a “secret shopper” for a fast-food chain restaurant when I was in college! Once a week, my job was to go to the restaurant (located in the campus student union) and place a huge order for a cheeseburger, fries, salad, and a shake, and then report on the deliciousness, speed, and friendliness of my experience. Not a bad gig for a starving student!
HousingWire: What are 2-3 trends that you are closely watching?
Kris Kully: I have been following the trending innovations in the mortgage origination process. From the use of bots by lenders and servicer’s to perform repetitive tasks (freeing up skilled personnel to focus on the bigger picture) to the creative underwriting programs seeking to provide access to home financing to those with nontraditional sources of income or credit histories, the pace of innovation is as fast as ever.
I have also been watching fresh ideas and new approaches in the appraisal industry. The lack of available appraisers, particularly in certain locations and in connection with certain loan programs is a persistent obstacle. I have been following efforts to address that scarcity, including through technology and through recruitment and training efforts (particularly in connection with diverse appraisers).
HousingWire: Lastly, what was your biggest learning opportunity?
Kris Kully: It was the six years I spent working as a new lawyer at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. While I have had many huge learning opportunities, those years taught me about all facets of housing policy and finance – from sheltering the homeless, support for low-income renters, mortgage insurance, fair housing/lending, community planning, and the secondary market activities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. HUD had, and continues to have, so many dedicated experts (unsung heroes!) doing really important work around the country. It was an incredible learning experience.
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