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SALT LAKE CITY -- A Top of Utah lawmaker is getting support for a bill that tries to scare off scam artists who prey on people having trouble with home payments.
Legislation to force licensure on people who offer foreclosure "rescue services" or loan modification assistance was passed out of the House on Thursday, said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Ryan Wilcox, R-Ogden.
"I am emotionally involved with this." said Wilcox.
The bill came about after Wilcox learned of a neighbor who lost ownership of his home to a company that supposedly was trying to help with the neighbor's financial problems.
Since beginning work on the legislation, Wilcox said he has been told of at least 50 similar circumstances of Utahns who got into trouble with an unlicensed financial adviser or peddlers of mortgage assistance.
The national decline in the housing market over the last several years has led to not only increasing numbers of mortgage problems, but also "bad actors" who take advantage of people looking for help out of their financial mess, according to Wilcox.
"I don't want more regulation, as much as anyone else. But this is just plain wrong," he added.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Legislation involving property taxes is moving along in the House, as well.
A committee hearing was held Thursday on a bill that would add more grace time and lighter penalties for late property tax payments, said Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville.
But the legislation also increases the penalty for late payments beyond the extended grace period. It could mean millions more tax dollars statewide for county government, or possibly deter scofflaws from taking advantage of the overall lighter interest rates on penalty payments, said Froerer.