Oregon law banning homebuyer ‘love letters’ blocked by federal judge

A federal judge blocked a new Oregon law that banned “love letters” from prospective homebuyers.

Oregon last year became the first state to pass a law preventing real estate agents from forwarding personal pitches to sellers that can include details about people’s lives along with photographs and videos and could violate state and federal fair housing rules.

The law does not prevent homebuyers from communicating directly with sellers.

A lawsuit filed in federal court in November by the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of a real estate firm alleged the state’s ban on these communications violates the First Amendment rights of real estate brokers and their clients.

“Today’s ruling preserves the opportunity of homebuyers to speak freely to sellers and make the case why their purchase offers should win out,” Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Daniel Ortner said in a statement. “Love letters communicate information that helps sellers select the best offer. The state cannot ban important speech because someone might misuse it.”