An Oregon judge has thrown out a state law that banned real estate “love letters” written by prospective homebuyers to sellers in an attempt to close a deal on a home.
U.S. District Judge Marco Hernández issued a consent decree that invalidated the law on free speech grounds.
In the decree, he said the law that called on real estate agents to reject efforts to communicate a love letter to the sellers “violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution” and said the law would not be enforced.
Last year, Oregon became the first state to pass a law against the letters, postulating that information contained in them might be used to unlawfully discriminate against certain buyers and therefore violate the Fair Housing Act. No other state followed suit, but several discourage the practice. And real estate trade groups in states such as California and Washington also have acknowledged the issue.
“The entry of the consent…