Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said the Government is not considering ‘some kind of blanket write-off of mortgage debt forgiveness, as is being suggested by some.’

Mr Gilmore said the Government is considering a ways of helping people who are having difficulty paying their mortgage, and ways of helping people who are at risk of losing their homes.

An expert group was set up by the Government's Economic Management Counsel before the summer, chaired by an accountant. It has been asked to come up with proposals.

Mr Gilmore says that expert group will report back at the end of September, and will inform the Government on what additional measures may be taken.

Warning over 'unsustainable' mortgages

An organisation that negotiates with lenders on behalf of homeowners facing repossession has said the number of mortgages in trouble is unsustainable.

New Beginning believes around 60,000 people face losing their home, with more than 20,000 mortgages unlikely to ever be repaid.

The organisation was set up to help homeowners in arrears and facing court action. It is now getting 50 calls a day from distressed mortgage holders, and is struggling to deal with the demand for its free service.

The organisation believes up to 20,000 mortgages are unsustainable - meaning they may never be repaid.

David Hall, co-founder of the group, said it is time for a political solution to the problem.

Last March, figures from the Central Bank revealed that one in 10 mortgages were in arrears - new figures expected out in the coming days are expected to show the problem has become worse in the last few months.