Thousands of people who are in danger of losing their home are the “hidden homeless” according to David Hall of the Irish Mortgage Holders Association.
He was commenting after Ulster Bank confirmed on Tuesday that it is selling 3,200 owner-occupier mortgages, where it loaned €810m to people to buy their own homes.
In addition, the lender is offering for sale 400 buy-to-let mortgages, where it loaned €90m to people to buy properties that they rented to others.
“These people were treading water for so long, now they are drowning,” he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.
Mr Hall said that many of the people were living in their homes while they engaged with the banks, but they were essentially “the hidden homeless” as they would soon be without a home.
“These people will lose their homes. This is where the tsunami begins,” he warned.
He described as “utter rubbish” suggestions that people could be better off dealing with so-called vulture funds who would “do a deal”.
The modus operandi of vulture funds was to “buy cheap, sell high,” he said.
Mr Hall encouraged people in mortgage distress to contact insolvency services, MABs and insolvency practitioners.
“They should engage. There is a bit of hope, but not much.”
He also warned “this is the beginning of outsourcing. The tsunami of repossessions is coming, it has been coming for five years.
"A Croke Park of people will lose their homes.”