HOMEOWNERS who are heavily in mortgage debt have 14 different options for getting a deal from their bank, a new book says.
Author Fran Dalton says the last thing banks want to do is take houses away from people.
Some 186,000 residential mortgage holders are in some form of arrears or have had to get their repayments reduced.
"The last thing a banker wants is your house," Mr Dalton, a former head-of-lending manager with Danske Bank, said.
But Mr Dalton warned homeowners not to be rushed into doing a deal with a bank without seeking financial advice.
And he warned that many people who take up the option of a split mortgage may be forced into selling their homes when they hit retirement age.
A split mortgage is where part of the principal of the mortgage is set to one side for a number of years.
AIB and EBS do not charge interest on the warehouse part of the mortgage, Permanent TSB charges 1pc, while Bank of Ireland charges full interest.
Fianna Fail's Michael McGrath says that a homeowner who splits half of a €200,000 mortgage taken out with Bank of Ireland will clock up an interest bill of €57,000 over 10 years.
Mr McGrath called on Finance Minister Michael Noonan and the Central Bank to intervene to ensure all the banks have the same rules for split mortgages.
A recent report from the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) showed that most of the clients it deals with who are in mortgage arrears are between the ages of 41 and 65.
MABS said options like split mortgages won't work for these people as they will be retired with limited income by the time they need to deal with the portion of the loan put aside.