Reverse mortgages are supposed to provide senior citizens with the security that they can keep their houses for the rest of their lives. However, according to a recent article in the New York Times , this is turning out not to be true. Many of these loans carry pitfalls. According to the US Government, there are currently 775,000 reverse mortgages in force. Now 9.4 percent of these loans are in default, up from 2% ten years ago. Only four years ago, only 3% of borrowers were taking reverse mortgages as lump sums; now, 70% of reverse mortgages are taken in lump sums.