SALEM, OR (KPTV) - There is just one more step before a controversial bill, that could change the way many people buy homes, becomes law. If signed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, House Bill 2550 will ban the practice of ‘love letters’ during a home sale. The measure is to help avoid buyer selection based on race, sex, or religion in violation of federal fair housing laws.

Perhaps now more than ever in this housing boom, with major investment firms looking to buy up entire neighborhoods, buyers are looking to influence sellers any way they can. That influence usually comes in the form of a personalized letter, sometimes with family photos and desires to live in that community. What this bill would do is give seller’s agents the ability to reject those letters. While the bill has already passed the House and Senate, there are people who feel this is a major overreach by lawmakers.

Duke Hubbard told FOX 12 he bought the bigger home his family needed in Gresham in February.

One more step before controversial Oregon bill becomes law, banning 'love letters' during home sales

Image: KPTV

“We explained that we were in the process of adopting two more kids. Brother and sister, one and three years old. Wanted to keep them together. And without knowing [the seller’s] position, they had just got through adopting their son’s kids. Their son had passed away in a car wreck. So, there was a little bit of…pulling on the heartstrings there, which we had no idea at the time that that had happened to them,” he said.

Hubbard said his bid came in at least $15,000 less than others.

While buyers will still be able to reach sellers directly, the measure still doesn’t sit well with buyers, especially first-time home buyers. FOX 12 also heard from a couple realtors who feel censoring letters is undue interference, adding there are already laws in place to make discrimination illegal.

But the bill’s chief sponsor who is a real estate agent himself, Rep. Mark Meek, D-Clackamas County, said it's implicit bias that's the issue.

“The only way that I saw, and a way that we can practically and very simply eliminate that practice, is just to not allow those letters. We’re not impinging on free speech, the buyer can still write the letter, but the seller’s agent is no longer required to pass that information along,” said Meek.

If the governor signs the bill into law, it will not take effect until January 1.

Copyright 2021 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(16) comments

PRENFROW

CENSORSHIP, It is what democrats and liberals do! We will tell you what to say and when to say it!

Clackakitty

We're getting ready to sell our house and we are in Clackamas County. You can bet we won't deal with any of Mark Meek's clients.

Worst PDX Mayor Ever

Geezus H, we're still dealing with covid closures and related issues, we still have riots going on, shootings and violent crimes are out of control, with murders up about 800%, and this is the garbage our legislature is wasting it's time on? Wow, so glad we have a dem majority. They really have their priorities straight.

Delta Bravo

First off, betting that Mark Meek lost a sale to someone who wrote a letter. Should be investigated as this appears to be a conflict of interest.

Second, we are supposed to have a free market economy. That says you can sell to what you consider the best offer. If a letter writer is the most motivated buyer, shouldn't I know that as a seller? Get you stupid liberal butt out of the way and let the free market function.

Who is going to enforce this stupid law and what are the enforcement costs? This law is just a gift to an attorney.

What about used cars? Are we going there next?

pb sir

Not sure that I understand why the Legislature or State Government needs to weigh in on this issue, at all... and if I understand correctly, the bill says that a potential buyer can still write a letter, but the Seller's Realtor doesn't have to give it to the Seller (???)... so, now we're letting a Realtor censor what the Seller does and doesn't know about the transaction involving their own home? This kind of stinks...

Lawlessness Brings Destruction

This is ABSOLUTELY about money and real estate agents getting the highest commi$$ion from the largest offers. Classic greedy leftist Democrat.

Just HOW does Rep. Mark Meek, D-Clackamas County define "implicit bias".

Isn't accepting the largest offer implicit bias?

As already stated in this thread, buyers can get around this overreach via the USPS, if the seller agrees to it.

Freedom1

But what about all the poor and people color that can't or don't know how to access a pencil or paper to write said letter.

Woke Eyesaidsir

Equity.... racial equity and FINDING it where is not even needed .... THAT, my firend is the Demo Govt. WAY!

Woke Eyesaidsir

This is Governmental interference.... of the sort that Ronald REeagan warned us about. Creepy-crawly govt. interference.... by Dems that have the b's to assume that they know what is best for buyers and for sellers. Tell you what.... I'll bet you 100.00 that Ted and Joan and Same-ol-Sam and their WHOLE crewe are CHEERING this move.

DPM1957

Seems one could just send a letter via the USPS.

Yabbadabba

That's exactly what I was thinking. What's to stop that?

fostermom

This is about money. The investors want only money to matter, remove the personal element from the buying process. I would not live where I do if I had not written a letter. Our seller picked us because we wanted to live in the house. The other bids were all investors, because my house can legally be torn down and 6 houses squeezed onto my lot.

nbnbnbnb

If somebody whined to me, i would jack up the price.

slippery

More government sticking their noses where they don't belong. It's time to put most of our government out of business and make this country a decent place to live again.

racecar57

I agree with you 150%. Government is too big and is ruining the lives of more people then they ever help !!!!

DefundTheMedia

100% agreed. Don't they have anything better to do then make bill's about stupid letters to sellers?

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