Oregon Sued After Banning Buyers’ Love Letters

Image of a person holding a pencil ready to write on a blank paper tablet.

Free Speech Versus Fair Housing?

It’s a tough market out there for home buyers. So, hopeful home buyers are coming up with ways to stand out from the crowd. Some — many, these days — are writing “love letters” that flatter the sellers to persuade them to choose the letter writers as buyers.

Are these letters charming gestures that show diligence and smart thinking on the buyer’s part? Or do they cross a line? It all depends. But this year, Oregon said enough is enough. And it passed a bill to stop the buyers’ practice of writing to sellers in hopes of beating out their competition. The new law, House Bill 2550, is the first of its kind nationwide. Gov. Kate Brown has signed it. And it’s due to take effect on the first day of 2022.

But will it? Citing the right to free speech, a group has filed for a preliminary injunction to stop H.B. 2550.

Let’s take a look at what’s going on.

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About Oregon HB 2127 (2015)

Property taxes are a fact of life for most real estate owners. Publicly held property, however, including that owned by the federal government (ORS 307.040) and state and local government (ORS 307.090) is exempt from property taxes. What happens when an exempt entity takes title to property that is still encumbered with outstanding tax debt? In many cases, the answer is “nothing.”

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