"Love letters" written by potential home buyers are, once again, allowed in Oregon. While they are a common part of the home buying process, some in the industry view them as lawsuits waiting to happen. Did you use a love letter when you bought your first home? Many of us did, but that option may end up going the way of the dinosaur.
Marco Hernandez, a Federal judge, has granted a preliminary injunction that prohibits the state of Oregon from enforcing the law against love letters written to home sellers. His legal opinion states: “It is not in the public interest to enforce a law that is likely unconstitutional, even one aimed at the laudable goal of reducing unlawful discrimination in housing.”
While many in the industry are uneasy about the use of love letters, supporters of the practice say that this is often one of the only ways that a first-time buyer can compete with an investor seeking to buy entry level homes. While these love letters can commonly carry information that would reveal specifics about the buyer’s race, religion, sexual orientation and marital status, it is entirely possible to write a successful emotional appeal that references none of these. Either way, a reasonable step that could be taken would be to prohibit buyers from including personal photos in their communications with the sellers.
This is an ongoing situation, and we’ll make sure to bring you any big developments in the story.
Oregon Public Broadcast: "Oregon ban on real estate ‘love letters’ blocked by preliminary injunction"
HousingWire: "Judge strikes down Oregon love letter ban"