Virginia Real Estate Appraisal Board Made History!

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VaCAP Board

Coalition of Appraisers in Virginia at Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals
Coalition of individual appraisers working together to unite, promote and protect the collective interests of all appraisal professionals in Virginia; to promote needed changes in laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards affecting all appraisers in Virginia; to observe and report the actions of regulatory, legislative, oversight, and standards-setting entities of the Commonwealth.
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Virginia Real Estate Appraisal Board Made History

On Tuesday February 23rd, The Virginia Real Estate Appraisal Board made history!

The legislative code of Virginia states Licensed Appraisal Management Companies must provide customary and reasonable compensation to fee appraisers. There are two presumptions of compliance. One based on objective third party information, including fee schedules, studies and surveys prepared by independent third parties, such as government agencies, academic institutions, and private research firms. The other presumption of compliance is based on recent rates paid to a representative sample of providers of appraisal services in the geographic market of the property being appraised or fee schedules of those providers. The legislative code is very clear that both presumptions must exclude compensation paid to fee appraisers ordered by AMCs at both the Federal and State Levels.

The Virginia Real Estate Appraisal Board adopted the VA appraisal fee schedule… The Board analyzed fee studies completed in other states and compared them to the Veterans Affairs’ Fee Schedule in those states. In all states analyzed, the results were similar and showed support for a minimum fee structure.

On Tuesday February 23, 2016 The Virginia Real Estate Appraisal Board adopted the United States Veterans Affairs’ Roanoke Regional Loan Center Appraisal and Inspection Fee Schedule as published and updated from time to time, as a government agency fee schedule which AMC’s may use as a presumption of compliance with the requirement to provide customary and reasonable compensation to Virginia fee appraisers.

Our Real Estate Appraiser Board in Virginia associates the fee to the scope of work for the assignment. What that means is the fee is based on the Veteran Affairs’ requirements for the scope of work. For example, on the URAR, the Veterans Affairs’ requires three comparable sales and the 1004MC. Any additional requirements by the AMC or lender, (cost approach, additional sales, active or pending listings, etc.) will result in a larger scope of work and the compensation to the appraiser will be higher. If the property being appraised is larger, rural or complex in any other way, the fee should be higher. The opposite also holds true where if the scope of work is less than the Veterans Affairs’ requirements, the compensation may also be lower.

The Virginia Real Estate Appraisal Board is expected to process complaints against Appraisal Management Companies for not paying customary and reasonable fees. The way VaCAP understands the process, an appraiser must accept the assignment for a fee below customary and reasonable, complete the assignment and then file a complaint. The VREAB will process and investigate the complaint. The responsibility of proving the fee was customary and reasonable is placed on AMC. The AMC must provide the documentation used to determine the fee was customary and reasonable. The VREAB then will decide if the fee is customary and reasonable based on all the investigative findings, utilizing the Veterans Affairs’ Fee Schedule as a base guideline.

Does the appraiser completing the assignment have to be the one filing the complaint? NO! Virginia Law requires the fee paid to the appraiser be disclosed within the report if an AMC is used by the lender. If an appraiser completes a review on an appraisal completed by another appraiser, the reviewing appraiser may file a complaint of non-customary and reasonable fee. If a homeowner hands an appraiser a report completed by another appraiser, they may file a non-customary and reasonable fee complaint. The VREAB will process complaints made anonymously as long enough information provided.

Should appraisers continue to accept fees below what is considered customary and reasonable? That is a business decision in which each appraiser must determine based on their expenses and profit desired. The only advice VaCAP can provide is know your cost of doing business, be competitive and work smart.

VaCAP thanks the Virginia Real Estate Board for their dedication and hard work in establishing the Guidance Document. You may find a copy on the Town Hall. Please read it, keep it and share it with appraisers, AMCs, and lenders.

Virginia Real Estate Appraiser Board Guidance Document Customary & Reasonable Compensation for Fee Appraisers

Image credit flickr - Eli Christman
VaCAP Board

VaCAP Board

Coalition of individual appraisers working together to unite, promote and protect the collective interests of all appraisal professionals in Virginia; to promote needed changes in laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards affecting all appraisers in Virginia; to observe and report the actions of regulatory, legislative, oversight, and standards-setting entities of the Commonwealth.

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44 Responses

  1. Baggins Baggins says:

    Zinger!  VA fees in several CO counties recently went to $650.  Accept the order, complete the order, then file a complaint because the burden of proof falls on the amc in the first place.  Brilliant!

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    • Baggins, SOME AMCs in Virginia were trying to pretend fees as low as $250 were “C&R.” The same company that Louisiana nailed for paying less than C&R fees is very active in VA too. Doubtful they paid more there voluntarily…especially since they were previously operating without a license to begin with (COESTER).

      The requirement to first accept a low assignment and THEN file a complaint is a requirement of law. An abnormality that on the surface defies common sense, but under Virginia law some form of ‘loss’ has to take place in order to have standing to file a complaint.

      Their system is FAR better than my own state which HAS NO C&R enforcement provisions at all!

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  2. Chris says:

    Only took 5 years AND untold HARDSHIP to thousands of appraisers’ families !!!!

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    • Chris, look at all the posts here. Do you see a unified front celebrating the hard work and accomplishment in VA or do you see disparate individual comments with no apparent end goal in sight?

      Many people worked very hard to achieve this including those that got it on the agenda in the first place.

      Just to name a few…

      Damian G. (VaCAP & AGA Member); Pat T.-VaCap, Untold OTHER VaCap Members that attended the meeting last week to help get this passed; Leo Regensburger Executive VP American Guild of Appraisers, and numerous other  appraisers behind the scenes that helped do the research, wrote presentations and coordinated with the various interests in favor of the proposal. (appraisers last names intentionally omitted to avoid potential retribution by AMCs-which by itself would be a HUGE & costly mistake on their part)

      Opposing the minimum fee were the usual “suspects” including REVAA which specializes in representing and advocating for the established practices of numerous AMCs that many of us consider to be ‘bottom feeders’ to begin with.

      Success in resolving issues facing us is NOT an overnight proposition. We could use YOUR help too. Join the American Guild of Appraisers (AGA) http://www.appraisersguild.org janbellas@appraisersguild.org -mention my name and ask for the discount.

      One point stands out about the meeting as it was reported to me. When Leo spoke up and stated that he was representing the interests of THIRTEEN MILLION AGA, OPEIU/ AFL-CIO taxpaying and consumer members, retirees, their families and guild appraiser members the Board sat up and LISTENED!

      While it was ultimately the strength of the presenters testimony that carried the day, it sure did not hurt to have a huge number of citizen interests also represented. Interests that are best served by have fees adequate to compensate for a properly completed appraisal!

      VREAB itself is also to be commended. They were clearly looking out for the People of the State of  Virginia over the big buck backed AMC special interests.

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  3. Martin says:

    Hey Florida!! Are you reading this?????

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  4. Garbage Amc says:

    Good for Virginia , Illinois should follow suit in the year 2075.

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  5. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    Two questions:

    What took so G. D. long?
    What is Kentucky’s problem? Are they still awaiting confirmation that a problem exists?

    One would think that a quadriplegic horse could have delivered the news to both legislators and the KREAB after 7 years.

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    • RA, PART of the problem is that Kentucky actually did university studies for C&R fees. A study that I read and consider to be flawed. On paper, THEY may think they ARE getting C&R fees. Another part of the problem is that they don’t appear to HAVE an appraiser with a quadriplegic horse that is interested enough to try to make any changes.

      I know you are retired, but you CAN still help if inclined to do so. Want to try a “Patron Membership” in the Guild and give it a shot? Contact Janbellas@appraisersguild.org  and tell her you are retired and I referred you as a potential patron.

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  6. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    One can only assume that it takes 7 years for “legislators on the take” to die or be be forced out of office.

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  7. Koma says:

    Like I always state IDC about C&R fees. It my business and I charge what I say I’m worth! If you want to accept a low fee that’s your stupidity. It states in the above article: The opposite holds true where if the scope of work is less the Veterans Affairs’ requirements, the compensation may also be lower. Bulls**t! Again someone else is telling me how to run MY business. You don’t think these AMC’s aren’t going to come up with their own studies among themselves or affiliated companies with fees they want. Tell me what happens if in my areas there is a shortage of appraisers I’m not going to be able to charge more??? What if I do charge more and some reviewer is angry because I charge and get paid more than he does? Can he turn me in for charging an unC&R fee? How about a homeowner finding out? You may think I’m reaching, but just wait and see. One more thing, how about these states tell AMC’s how much they can make off each appraisal or how about make the payment come from their client not skim it off our backs. YEA RIGHT! Made History…haha

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    • KenQ says:

      My take is that, this does not apply to appraisers wanting to charge more or less. This applies to AMC’s paying low fees. Appraisers are not going to be turned in for charging more or less. But anyone can file a complaint against AMC’s not paying C&R fees which is now based on VA fees.

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    • Baggins again Baggins again says:

      Want the kicker on that one?  Specifically regarding assignment difficulty being less than VA scope.  That’s an illusionary concept if dealing with xml!  With the advent of xml review software and somewhat variable but still overwhelmingly fixed points of automated data mapping review analysis now being a constant reality, the gap between sow and client difficulty shrunk significantly across the board for clients whom demand xml in sow.  The reason being is they’re all using similar review software and approaches which now revolve around xml data mapping and correlative review points associated with UCDP!  How to quick review using xml;  run xml reader, identify any point of rule set variance or mismatching UCDP informational points, issue stips and clarification requests for all alerts, and only take time to read pdf if after several rounds of this, the warning count or over all risk factor rating has not decreased as expected.  Repeat 20-40 times a day, possibly more.  Knowing these documents is half the battle (2x linked).  The other half is hoping the underwriter understands there is a generous limit for warnings, and this ultra critical approach to answering all warnings is overkill.  I’ve had underwriters stip me for adding the assessors PIN & AIN numbers, but their auto review only recognized the PIN.  They claim ‘correction’, for using relevant and only locally recognized data, rather than strictly using nationally recognized data.  In today’s reality, the VA sow is likely less time consuming than your average non VA client, because the VA reviewers actually know what they’re doing.

      This one gets you up to speed on types of warnings;
      https://www.fanniemae.com/content/user_guide/ucdp-user-guide-fannie-mae-messaging.pdf

      This one is a must read and must bookmark because it’s for lenders, and is very illuminating. You can quote off of this if you’re in a fix;  Quoted;  “CU is effectively predictive of appraisal defects, but there are false positives.  Well informed human judgement should take precedence over automated results. The expectation is not to utilize the full CU functionality and information available in the CU.”  Newsflash to fnma; the over use of CU functionality is mostly unchecked at the moment by a wide variety of clients.  https://www.fanniemae.com/content/faq/collateral-underwriter-faqs.pdf /  I believe these points to be on topic with the article, because the proof that something is easier than VA scope now rests largely on XML CU style review systems and criteria set forth per individual client in their use of these systems, to which the appraiser has no data access to.

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      • Its really MUCH easier than that. VA ‘requires’ only three comps unless YOU determine more are needed. So any AMC that automatically requires 4 & listing is exceeding the VA scope. Same with a rent survey or any other addendums AMC may order that are not standard for VA. Check VA rates for ‘any other services’ and add those to base. Or, contact Pat T. at VaCap for specific ideas.

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      • Senior~ Baggins Senior~ Baggins says:

        But for real, these VA orders run through a variety of lenders, and I’d bet the lenders wrangle the VA appraisers around for the typical 2 in 90, 2 a/uc, all within 1 mile, answer any over 6months, and demand 6 total comps.  That’s so standard lately, it’s just the regular deal.  The wrench in the gears, is always the underwriter, and if they’re overly critical or not, which presumably stems from their over reliance on automated review tools.

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    • Koma you can charge whatever you want. The only question is WHY anyone would WANT to charge LESS than the presumptive C&R fees in the first place?

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  8. KenQ says:

    Outstanding!

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  9. bubba jay / Retired Appraiser II bubba jay / Retired Appraiser II says:

    its a good start, but a lot of damage has already been done, and a lot of other work still needs to be done.

    now, but what about all the other states?  how long till this gets implemented in the other states?  WILL this get implemented in the other states?

    also, why is it that VCAP seems to be the only organization actively trying to help the industry?  where are all the other state organizations?  i know where mine is – they are having a golf outing on may 19th!  (roll eyes here).

    the bleeding has slowed a little bit . . . . .

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  10. bill johnson says:

    Thank you Virginia Real Estate Appraisal Board for this step forward, but I have questions. Will the appraisers be required to pay out of pocket for any software portal delivery fees? I’ve seen fees as high as $30 per order (1004) and as high as 17% ($13 / $75) for other forms (216, 1007)? If this loophole wasn’t closed, what’s to stop the lenders/AMC’s from charging a $200 delivery/ technology, etc., the day after implementation? Assuming lenders/AMC’s want this extra data, (cost approach, active & pending sales), what studies are being conducted to bring clarity to these EXTRA requests? What fees are we going to charge? Dustin Harris recently had a blog titled “a la carte Appraising” and said the following in response to an appraiser who provided his client a cost of his services ($20 extra comps, etc.,)  “Now, I am not faulting this guy for being creative, but really? You think the AMC is going to go for that kind of business model? Yeah, me neither”. Why do so many not see our value as it relates to time? In response to Dustin and his blog, I made a point to say that my local McDonalds has figured out they can charge 10 cents for extra dipping sauces, but appraisers can’t make a compelling argument for an extra hours worth of work. My local car wash has figured out and given value to the 3 minutes it takes to apply tire dressing. With state by state victories, and federal AMC enforcement being 2 + years away, WE need to take the lead and establish what we are worth. Thanks again VREAB for in part setting the standards for our reports, but it will be up to use to make since of what our extra time is worth.

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    • Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

      Smart thinking Bill.  Rest assured that AMCs will extract 50% of your flesh in one manner or another.  They won’t go down without a fight.  Maybe they’ll devise Appraisal Fee Management Companys in Virgina to guarantee you’re being full fees by AMCs with a token 50% commission being charged to each appraiser.  Maybe they’ll blackmail Virginia legislators into going along with it to “protect appraisers”.

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    • Koma says:

      Now that’s what I’m talking about. Crafty little devils these AMC’s!

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  11. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    I can honestly say that I never believed in torture until witnessing the incredible pain that AMCs have inflicted on innocent appraisers. I know thousands of appraisers who were driven out of this profession, thousands more who who were forced into bankruptcy, I know of a couple of appraisers who contemplated suicide and a one who actually succeeded. Their crime? Choosing the wrong profession.

    Here is a sampling of what AMC executives and Andrew Cuomo should be forced to endure for their crimes against humanity. Unfortunately, they were rewarded with with incredible salaries and a gubernatorial seat. That last fact should make you far more nauseous than this video.

    Viewer Discretion Is Advised

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    • Baggins again Baggins again says:

      Downvoted. Please use the furthest right window tool box in the blog post, the one with the little mountains. And then lift a hotlink for a gif image or static image or something. Posting youtube links as a hotlink is over the top, just copy the link into your post instead. Please limit your hotlinking to gifs or pics. Thanks. 

      If you’re upset about lack of due process in the representative governance system…. Well, I hope you voted Ron Paul, will vote Trump, registered Libertarian lately, join groups, write letters, and put your money where your mouth is with national boycotts. I moved my loan to the CU, and life is good. The only person I’ve contemplated killing, is my television. LOL

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  12. Pat Turner says:

    It is called one small bite at the time.  Do not criticize until you fight the fight.

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  13. Pat Turner says:

    The American Guild of Appraisers was represented in RICHMOND by Leo R.

    He came to the Board meeting and spoke out for honesty, transparency, and fairness.  The A G A prepared a report, that was bound and a copy given to each Board member and Staff person in attendance.  That said, THEIR support deserves OUR support.  I have spent the last week telling the world and am joining myself.

    Ever heard of strength in numbers?

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    • Thanks Pat. I think some people are starting to see that, but are still hampered by inertia. You SAW it first hand so what I’ve been saying for over a year here needs no explanation for you; but others that haven’t seen it or that have only heard about it from me (as in CA AB 624) may have had doubts.

      We [appraisers] can have the BEST position or logical & moral argument for a view but unless our regulators are (1) predisposed FOR our position or (2) they are already mandated to conform to it they do NOT usually adopt ‘extra’ implementing regulations that may be necessary for enforcement.

      THAT gets bureaucrats in trouble with elected state officials that may or may not be getting campaign contributions from the huge title cos & other corporate conglomerates that own the AMCs.

      They Usually have to have a compelling reason to become proactive.

      Usually when we announce we are speaking for our over THIRTEEN MILLION consumer and taxpaying members, retirees, etc.  (though OPEIU & AFL-CIO) it provides them with an excuse to do the right thing. THAT is really why state coalitions and AGA need to work directly together more.

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  14. FL Appraiser says:

    Way to go Virginia! I’d love for something similar to happen in Florida.

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  15. bill johnson says:

    Regardless of the progress we have made, the industry could care less about us. The following is from Mortgage News Daily (Fee Structure Changes; Trends in VA Lending and Overlays; TRID Survey) by author Rob Chrisman.

    “Required as of Friday, February 19th, 2016, Stearns began implementing changes to its Appraisal Fees by following a flat fee structure. This move will eliminate a majority of up charges and additional fees charged by the AMCs, and improve the accuracy of the Loan Estimate. This approach will provide a much greater certainty of the appraisal fee to be charged to the consumer, so fees can be disclosed accurately up front. The new flat fee schedule will be posted in SNAP 2.0 under Forms in the Appraisal Section.”

    How can they ensure customary and reasonable fees by setting a flat fee? Is the flat fee state specific or for the entire nation? What do they mean when they say up charges and additional fees as charged by the AMC’s? By setting a flat fee are they saying to their hired AMC’s that they won’t be paying complexity fees (up charges)?

    Mortgage News Daily has banned me from commenting on any articles, however I would encourage all to voice your opinions as you see fit.

    One step forward, two steps back.

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    • You hit it right on the nail head Bill. Posting of FLAT fees is essentially an admission of Dodd Frank non compliance. I addressed this in prior blog about COESTER and their “invention” of one size fit all flat fees nationally. THAT is why I designed our (AGA) proposed C&R fee schedule to be flexible as either r national deminimus fee OR a state by state fee minimum by merely adjusting the local area multiplier.

      Mortgage News Daily? as in:


      I’ll see what I can do.

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      • bill johnson says:

        Yes. I single handily commented for 6 months to address their articles from an appraiser perspective (my opinion), and they eventually pulled the plug on my ability to post. It was an eye opening experience as it gives a window into the business as viewed from the loan origination side. Their articles tend to hit on a dozen things while not giving much substance to their statements. They did not like my substance.

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      • Bill, OK, I signed up and wrote something but now cant find where its posted. may be too fresh.

        Bill, you know how their site works better than I do. See if you can find me. Mike Ford and my ‘company’ is listed as American Guild of Appraisers on that site because I want to take a ‘bridging approach’ with them. let me know your thoughts if you can find the post (related to article you talked about here).

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      • bill johnson says:

        Your comment is now visible Mike. The comments/conversation are very hit and miss, but they do say they get one million unique visitors per month. I always hoped many were reading, but simply not replying. Although again I tended to break the door down versus your knocking on the door approach I wish you luck. Ted Rood is the leading commenter.

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    • Baggins again Baggins again says:

      But YES!  They can assure C&R, if the flat rate, is clearly better than average.

      A $600 to appraiser payout, + fees, that should be a good flat rate to adopt, which covers all bases, for starters until the industry can get to where it should have been by now, which is over $750 per appraisal.

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      • Baggins, What they did was far better than the ‘nothing’ that most states have ‘done’. They HAD a proposal in front of them that proposed the fee ranges you cite. Im told they were impressed by it but in the end believed the V.A. fees to be more appropriate.

        We (AGA) supported that belief as (1)FAR better than nothing, and (2) far less likely to be challenged in courts by the likes of Revaa and their deep pocket clients. You can read the proposal that was given to them at http://www.appraisersguild.org C&R fees. (3) At the present time, there is a LOT of national support for the V.A. fee schedule while fees like you and I cite still have to be argued on their own merit. The VREAB gives each speaker five minutes to speak.

        There is also a LOT of behind the scenes advance lobbying that goes on. IF members are predisposed to look on one view favorably; it would be extremely rare that they might change and go in a completely different direction. What usually happens then is that they either say ‘no’ outright, or ‘table the issue’ to some future date. IF you want VREAB and others to ultimately adopt HIGHER C&R fees, then join us at the AGA and work for them with those that are already trying to effect changes.

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  16. Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

    Bill, I found YOUR old comments, but still couldn’t find mine OR how to answer any of yours. I did see someone answered a couple of yours on FHA fee increases not being passed along to appraisers, In fact some were empathetic of our plight making me think this COULD be a decent site…IF it were easier to navigate to replies! Ran out of patience.

    THAT may have a LOT to do with why you weren’t seeing answers either.

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  17. AFP says:

    If the appraisers in VA would get together and set there own fees than this would be a non issue. Quit accepting low ball fee assignments and the issue would be rectified without having regulations implicated that can come back to bite you in the future

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