The head of the EBS Building Society has said there an urgent need to put a rescue plan in place to help homeowners struggling to meet mortgage repayments.
Fergus Murphy said the mortgage arrears problem is only going to get worse with thousands of homeowners across the dountry in difficulties.
He said EBS has had to put temporary arrangements in place for over 3,000 mortgage holders and there is now an urgent need to help ensure families don't lose their homes.
Mr Murphy says that the most likely scheme to succeed in one where a lender could "park" a portion of a debt, with the interest frozen on that portion.
"There may have to be some approach where, for example, banks or building societies look at 'warehousing' part of a loan to a future point, with no interest being charged on that portion of the loan," Mr Murphy said.
"There are schemes, particularly in the US, around that kind of idea," he added.