FHA is addressing risks on both sides
The federally-insured reverse mortgage or Home Equity Conversion Mortgage while holding tremendous value has been challenged with continued losses paid from the FHA’s insurance fund. In the wake of the housing bubble and economic crisis the program, several changes were enacted. The repeal of the standard fixed-rate HECM, the introduction of the HECM Saver, increases in mortgage insurance premiums, the financial assessment, first-year distribution limits, repeated principal limit factor reductions, and most recently, the enactment of the second appraisal rule as part of the Collateral Risk Assessment. The pace of these changes increased with the passage of the Reverse Mortgage Stabilization Act of 2013 which allows HUD to establish new rules via mortgagee letter rather the previous protracted rule-making process. The intention was to allow the agency to act quickly to slow the mounting losses incurred by the program.
When it comes to HECM risks there are basically two types: front end and back end. Front-end risks would include the valuation of the home, lending ratios or principal limit factors, and product design.