WASHINGTON (April 27, 2023) – Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Tyler v. Hennepin County, a Minnesota case examining the practice of "home equity theft," where the National Association of Realtors®, American Property Owners Alliance, and the Minnesota REALTORS® filed an amicus brief in defense of homeowners private property rights. Together, in the brief, the associations wrote:

"The equity that homeowners build in their properties is among the most cherished and important property rights protected by law.  Yet more than a dozen States permit governments foreclosing on tax-encumbered properties to retain all equitable value in those properties without compensating their owners. Permitting the government to erase these vested property rights by the stroke of a pen undermines a core premise of property ownership."

One of the most prized and significant property rights protected by law is the equity that homeowners build in their properties. The associations bound together to file the amicus brief because this case features one of many alarming instances of how the government is interfering with private property rights. Tax-foreclosure procedures, like the one used in Minnesota and 13 other States, that allow the seizure of property without compensation provides the government with the authority to trample on constitutionally protected property rights. Due to the hundreds of millions of dollars in equity that are lost to property owners each year as a result of these takings, the real estate sector is greatly impacted. The industry wants to ensure owners are not stripped of their equity interests without the just compensation required by the Fifth Amendment.

The National Association of Realtors® is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. The term Realtor® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

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