N12 and N13 S1 JillKerby Pic So what can distressed mortgage-holders take away from last week’s grilling of four bank  bosses (AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and PTSB) by the Oireachtas Finance Committee  members?

Firstly, the Committee was given a confused and incomplete picture of the ‘long term and  sustainable’ mortgage solutions that the banks are being compelled to put in place by the  Central Bank.

Three out of four of the banks categorically insisted they are not writing down arrears  though most advisers who are representing clients say they do, but only on a case-by-case  basis and especially with buy-to-let owners.

Meanwhile, the banks have sent out at least 10,000 letters threatening repossession to  customers who they claim have not ‘engaged’, some for up to three years or who are not  paying enough or anything, off their loans.

‘Strategic defaulters’, claim the banks are people who have sufficient income, savings or  other assets to pay their loans with but choose not to.

However, many advocacy groups say a distinction has to be made for homeowners who are not paying their mortgages because they are forced by other unsecured creditors like car finance lenders or credit card providers to pay those loans first.