There has been some suggestion that people are getting deals because they are well known. The only reason we hear about these particular deals is because the people are "celebrities". Most people are not interested in Joe Bloggs getting a write down from €500k to €300k.
I went to a talk 5/6 years ago hosted by a number of PIPS. They said back then that the amount written down by the banks was never an issue. But, you had to give them something, which was honestly filling out the cost of living questionnaire and having your disposable income cut back to the bone for 6 years.
The problem is, there's too many people who want to continue to live in a house they can't afford AND live the life they want. Not going on a holiday, no Sky Sports, no luxuries etc for 6 years will be hard but you'll have hundreds of thousands in debt wiped out and can start living your life again.