Those struggling with mortgage repayments at present might have taken some heart from the fact that earlier this week AIB wrote off some debt for families while allowing them to remain in their homes.
However, these incidents are likely to be exceptions rather than the rule, with the vast majority of us forced to continue paying our way out of debt.
One of the biggest challenges facing the market at present is negative equity. There are thousands of people around the country who bought at inflated prices and are now unable to move as a result.
This has affected the market from a stock point of view with the buyer up market now effectively dead as people can no longer upgrade to bigger houses as their family situation calls for it.
In the past, people bought small before upgrading as they started having children but now many do not have this luxury because of negative equity.
The news of writedowns now taking place might have brought them some hope but the reality is it would cost around €50 billion to reduce the cost of all mortgages to their current value.
Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton, who supplied that figure, said it would be impossible to write down such a cost so don’t expect any favours from either the government or the banks.
The 121,000 mortgages in arrears would take first priority were any other writedowns afforded but this is unlikely to happen in any large quantity.
The vast majority who are still paying big mortgages on properties in negative equity have no hope and unfortunately their spending power in the economy is hindered as a result.
If there is to be a solution to this problem then debt write downs, as much as we may like them, are not the answer.
Other proposed solutions such as mortgage-to-rent schemes have also brought about little success in the past.
The banks are, at least, appearing more realistic nowadays and their engagement with customers is a lot better than it was.
For many though, the only solution is to keep paying, as difficult as that may be to stomach. The only debt writedowns many of us will ever see is from the money we pay off our loans ourselves.