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June 24, 2013

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • Education Day
        - Earn 6 CEU This Wednesday!
  • PGCAR Office Closures
  • Board of Directors Nominations Due July 12
  • Luxury Home Marketing Designation
  • Volunteer for a 2014 PGCAR Committee
  • Annual WCR Crab Feast
  • Earn Required CE Before DC License Expiration
  • Annual Charity Event - Save the Date

    Homeownership Matters
  • College Park Program Offers up to
        $5,000 in Home Buying Incentives
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: Common Air Conditioning
        Malfunctions: What To Do
    The Industry Insider
  • New Stormwater Management Fees
        - Scheduled to be in Effect July 1
  • Alert: Testers are Checking Agency Disclosure
        - Are You Following MREC Rules?
  • MD and DC CEU
  • Sale!  Only $11 for 1.5 CEU; $18 for 3 CEU
  • Market Sen$e: Slight Ease in Fixed
        Mortgage Rates
  • Apply for the Annual Leadership Academy
  • County Home Settlements Still on the Rise
  • Sales Coach: When Emotions Run High
        Helping Distressed Clients
  • Code of Ethics: Case #13-1
  • Oklahoma REALTORS® Distributing Tornado Aid
  • FCU: Benefits for Your Business
  • SentriLock Lockbox Sale Expires Soon!
    at La Fontaine Bleu
    Earn 6 CE hours for MD and DC Continuing Education
    • MREC Agency - Residential
      3.0 CE, MD Required "H" Hours
      Instructor: Fredericka Lloyd
    • Financing Issues
      3.0 CE, DC Required & MD Elective hours
      Instructor: Michael Chelst
    • DC Legislative Update
      3.0 CE, DC Required hours
      Instructor: Prabhjit Singh
    • Risk Management
      3.0 CE, MD Elective hours
      Instructors: Don Martin
    • MD Code of Ethics
      3.0 CE, MD Required "D" & DC Elective hours
      Instructor: Don Martin
    • DC Fair Housing
      3.0 CE, DC Required hours
      Instructor: Prabhjit Singh
    • Contracts
      3.0 CE, MD & DC Elective hours
      Instructor: Jill Pogach Michaels
    • Current Mortgage Guidelines
      Made Easy

      3.0 CE, MD & DC Elective hours
      Instructor: Michael Chelst

    Terrific Courses & Instructors

    Choose One Morning and
    One Afternoon Class

    Breakfast, Lunch and
    Our Famous
    Ice Cream Social

    All for Only
    $75 Members
    $100 Non-Members


    Click here for a printable flyer.

    The PGCAR Office will be closed this Wednesday, June 26
    while staff is at Education Day. See you there!

    We will also close next Thursday, July 4 and Friday, July 5
    for the Independence Day holiday.


    LEGISLATIVE ALERT - June 24, 2013
    Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs


    Following federal and state mandates, Prince George's County has introduced legislation to implement a stormwater management (SWM) plan which will include a fee on residential and commercial property owners. Council Bill 45 and Council Resolution 59 (The plan) were debated Thursday (June 20, 2013) before the County Council's Transportation, Housing, and Environment Committee.

    The County Department of Environmental Resources (DER) has determined that the fairest and most equitable process for applying the fee at the residential level is through zoning classification. The plan (as presented) calls for the following fees on residential property owners.

    Zoning Classification:
    Tier I Rate Payers (R-T, R-20, R-35, R-U)
    Tier II Rate Payers (R-55, R-S, R-80, R-R, R-M)
    Tier III Rate Payers (R-E, R-O-S, R-A, O-S, R-L)
    Proposed Fee:
    $33.12 Annually
    $41.48 Annually
    $62.38 Annually

    In the above example, Tier I would be a small "townhome" style lot; Tier II would be an averaged sized subdivision property; and Tier III would be rural or "estate" styled properties. Fees will be significantly more for commercial and industrial land owners. The stormwater remediation fee will be collected on the annual County property tax bill. There are provisions in the bill that allow credits for property owners who can demonstrate that they are mitigating rain water run-off. Those who can prove economic hardship may apply for an exemption.

    The SWM plan is rooted in mandates imposed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) upon the state of Maryland (and other states) to make significant reductions in nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment discharges by 2025. The Prince George's County Council is now considering the DER proposal. The state mandate calls for implementation by July 1, 2013.

    Learn more here:


    The Prince George's County Association of REALTORS® is seeking self-nominations from individuals interested in serving as a member of the 2014 PGCAR Board of Directors. The PGCAR membership will elect a President-Elect and a Secretary to serve one-year terms in those positions, and four (4) individuals to serve two-year Director terms on the Board of Directors. All terms begin on October 1, 2013.

    Any individual wishing to run for
    President-Elect or Secretary

    • must be a REALTOR® member in good standing
      of PGCAR,
    • must have held membership in PGCAR for a minimum of two years, and
    • must have served two years as a Member of the Board of Directors during the last four years.

    Those running for a Director position

    • must be a REALTOR® member in good standing of PGCAR,
    • must have held Membership in PGCAR for a minimum of two years, and
    • must have served on a PGCAR Committee for one year during the last four years.

    Service on the Board of Directors requires a commitment to attend Board of Directors meetings (12 per year) as well as participating in other PGCAR activities.

    If you are interested in having your name considered by the Credentials Committee for inclusion on the ballot, please complete the online Candidate Form in Members Only.

    Nominations must be received no later than
    5 p.m. Friday, July 12th.
    Click here for the online Candidate Form >


    Luxury Home Marketing Designation Specialist® Training
    Sponsored by the Women's Council of REALTORS®

    Class Dates: July 17 - 18, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
    Lunch provided!
    Location: PGCAR Office
    CRS Credit: 16 elective units total

    This intensive two-day CLHMS training course sets the standard for luxury sales training in the industry, and is the first step in earning the coveted CLHMS designation.

    With an investment of just $550, you'll learn:
    • TWO secrets that will guarantee your success
    • The luxury market's myths vs. reality
    • The ONE thing you have to do to be a luxury home marketing expert
    • The luxury market segment: what you must know
    • Why the top of the market is still healthy
    • Facts about rich buyers and rich sellers

    For more information about this valuable training, click here >
    To reserve your place, click here >


    Volunteer for a PGCAR Committee!
    Sign Ups for 2013 - 2014 Committee Year are Due August 1

    PGCAR wants, and needs, your involvement in your local association. Through PGCAR's many committees, you can play a major part in the leadership of our association, as well as help organize and promote the positive contributions that PGCAR members make throughout Prince George's County communities. It is an opportunity to give back, broaden your experience, develop leadership and team building skills, and of course - meet and work with other PGCAR REALTOR® and Affiliate members!

    Click here to sign up now >
    Committee applications are due Thursday, August 1, 2013.


    Prince Georges County Chapter
    Annual Crab Feast

    Friday, August 9
    7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
    Knights of Columbus - College Park
    9450 Cherry Hill Road, College Park, MD 20740

    Join the Prince George's County Women's Council of REALTORS®
    for an all-you-can-eat crab feast!

    Enjoy Maryland crabs, corn on the cob, fried and baked chicken, hot dogs,
    potato salad, cole slaw, watermelon and dessert. . . and Music by D.J. Phil.

    Beer, soda, and a cash bar will also be available.

    Tickets: $54

    Any questions, contact Linda Simpson at or 240-353-5808.


    DC Salesperson Licenses Expire August 31
    - Earn Your 15 CE Hours at PGCAR

    Don't wait until August to meet CE hour requirements and renew licenses through the DC Real Estate Commission.

    15 total CE hours are required for license renewal.
    Easily complete your 9 CE hours in required subjects. 6 CE are being offered at Education Day:

    3 CE DC Legislative Update Education Day, June 26 9:30 am - 12:30 pm Register here >
    3 CE DC Fair Housing Education Day, June 26 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm Register here >
    3 CE Financing Issues / Update Wednesday, July 24 9:30 am - 12:30 pm Register here >

    6 CE hours in electives are also needed.
    You can choose to earn DC elective hours at Education Day, at PGCAR, or online!


    Save the Date!

    PGCAR's Annual Charity Event will be held on December 11
    at La Fontaine Bleu.

    Donations per ticket are
    $30 before December 1;
    $35 per ticket starting December 1.

    For details or to register, go to >

    View photos from the December 12, 2012 Winter Wonderland event >


    College Park Program Offers up to $5,000 in Home Buying Incentives!

    College Park has launched a promotional program called Live Smart to encourage home sales in the community. The ads tout College Park's affordability and convenient location and the program offers up to $5,000 in incentives to home buyers; additional information is available at

    1. Maryland Homefront - Expires June 30, or When Funds Run Out!
      Historically low, reduced interest rates starting at 2.875% (APR 3.675%) and increased payment assistance for qualified current and former military members. Program Details >
    2. Homebuyer Savings for City of Laurel
      Buyers of foreclosed homes receive tax credits. The program offers a five-year descending City tax credit of up to $3,500 for buyers purchasing their primary residence within Laurel City limits.
      Program Details >
    3. $30 Million Targeted Areas Initiative for All Homebuyers
      First-Time Homebuyers Can Gain Same Benefits in ANY Prince George's County Area

      Reduced interest rates starting at 2.875% (APR 3.675%) for qualified homebuyers purchasing a new primary residence. Program Details >
    4. Buy Suitland Initiative
      $40,000 Maximum in Downpayment & Closing Cost Savings!
      Up to 5% of home purchase price to first-time homebuyers or those who haven't owned within the last 3 years; Up to 7% for local civic employees. Program Details >   Revised Buy Suitland Flyer >
    5. Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLB Atlanta)
      Up to $15,000 toward a foreclosure purchase; Up to $7,500 toward the purchase of a property located in area approved for NSP funds.
      Program Details >
    6. American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI)
      Up to $10,000 to County homebuyers who have not owned a home within the last 3 years.
      Program Details >
    7. Freddie Mac HomeSteps SmartBuySM
      Offers up to $500 for purchase of a home warranty.
      Home listings and incentive details >   Sign up for buyer leads >

    Most of these programs can be used in combination. Information on these and other homebuyer savings are available at


    Consumer Tip: Common Air Conditioning Malfunctions: What To Do

    Here Comes the Sun Summer has officially arrived, as have warm temperatures. In our previous issue of REALTOR® Connection, we discussed ways to keep your house cool while minimizing (or foregoing) air conditioner use. As temperatures continue to rise, the AC may become necessary, but what do you do if your air conditioning or HVAC unit has trouble? Here we provide information on some common warning signs and their possible causes.

    Warning sign #1: The unit won't turn on.
    Possible cause: It's not getting power or the thermostat isn't correctly set.

    Warning sign #2: The comfort level isn't the same as in years past.
    Possible cause: Airflow may be restricted.

    Warning sign #3: Utility bills are higher than usual.
    Possible cause: The filter or the condensing coil may be dirty.

    Warning sign #4: The unit makes strange sounds.
    Possible cause: This could be as simple as a loose screw, or it could mean the blower motor is bad or a
    fan blade is bent.

    Warning sign #5: The unit runs too long or too short for your comfort.
    Possible cause: The thermostat may be improperly placed.

    Warning sign #6: Water pools on the floor near the unit.
    Possible cause: The tube meant to drain condensation away from the unit may be blocked, broken or disconnected; or, the sump pump isn't working properly.

    Warning sign #7: The "cooled" air doesn't feel as cool as usual.
    Possible cause: The copper refrigerant lines are lacking insulation or the refrigerant itself may need to be recharged.

    Warning sign #8: The AC doesn't kick on.
    Possible cause: The compressor may be burnt out.

    For more information about these AC issues and for do-it-yourself tips you can try to fix them, visit


    LEGISLATIVE ALERT - June 18, 2013


    Re:   Recent Interpretation by the Maryland Real Estate Commission Regarding Agency Disclosure At The Open House Or When Showing Property

    The Maryland Real Estate Commission has recently adopted a formal interpretation as to the obligation of a real estate licensee to complete and provide the required agency disclosure form at the time of the open house or when showing property by a buyer's agent where the seller or seller's agent is present at the time of the showing.

    Below you will find an article which Al Monshower, general legal counsel for the Maryland Association of REALTORS®, has prepared. From his experience, very few licensees are even aware of this new interpretation from the Maryland Real Estate Commission.

    WHO ... ME?

    By: Alvin C. Monshower, Jr., Esq.
    Monshower, Miller & Magrogan, LLP

    The Maryland Real Estate Commission has recently adopted an interpretation of the current agency disclosure under Maryland law applicable to residential real estate transactions.

    Since January 1, 1999, the Maryland Real Estate Brokers Act has specified that a real estate licensee is required to disclose in writing whom the real estate licensee represents in each real estate transaction. The agency disclosure, under current Maryland law, is required to be given not later than the first scheduled face-to-face contact with the seller or lessor or buyer or lessee.

    In order to comply with the law, the written agency disclosure must be on the official agency disclosure form as adopted by the Maryland Real Estate Commission, which is captioned as "Understanding Whom Real Estate Agents Represent." The current version of the agency disclosure form is dated January 2011.

    There has been some confusion and contradictory opinions as to whether a real estate licensee in a residential real estate transaction is required to give the agency disclosure form at the time of an open house or to a seller's agent who might be present at the time of showing a property by the buyer's agent to a buyer.

    The recent interpretation of the Maryland Real Estate Commission answers these questions quite definitively.

    The following is a synopsis under the recent interpretation by the Maryland Real Estate Commission of whether a seller's agent conducting the open house is required to give the written agency disclosure to a prospective buyer at the time of the open house or whether a buyer's agent who accompanies a buyer client to the open house is required to give the seller's agent conducting the open house a written agency disclosure form at the time of accompanying the buyer to the open house. Finally, the Maryland Real Estate Commission has also addressed the issue of whether a buyer agent is required to give the written agency disclosure form when showing property to a buyer client where the seller or seller's agent is at the property at the time of the showing.

    The following is a synopsis in a question/answer format on these three issues.

      1. Question:
        I am a seller's agent holding an open house. Am I required to give written agency disclosure to a prospective buyer at the open house?

        Response by the Maryland Real Estate Commission:
        "You are a seller's agent at an open house. A prospective buyer starts to look around, but does not ask any questions or engage you in conversation. At this point, you do not need to provide the Agency Disclosure form. If the potential buyer begins to ask questions or disclose possibly confidential information, however, you must then provide him or her with the form before continuing the discussion."
      2. Question:
        I am a buyer's agent attending an open house with my buyer client. Am I required to give written agency disclosure to the seller or the seller's agent at the open house?

        Response by the Maryland Real Estate Commission:
        "You are a buyer's agent attending an open house with your client. Since there is no face-to-face meeting scheduled, you are not obligated to present the seller or seller's agent with the Agency Disclosure form. However, if your client expresses interest in the property during the open house, you must provide the Agency Disclosure form to the seller or the seller's agent at that time."


      1. Question:
        I am a buyer's agent showing property to my buyer client. Am I required to give written agency disclosure to the seller or seller's agent at the time of the showing?

        Response by the Maryland Real Estate Commission:
        "You are a buyer's agent showing a property to your client at a scheduled appointment. If the seller (or seller's agent) is present at the showing, you must provide him or her with a copy of the Agency Disclosure form."

    In conclusion, the interpretation of the Maryland Real Estate Commission clearly requires the agency disclosure under the circumstances described in the three issues above. Accordingly, REALTORS® should be sure to have available to them at the open house or when showing property blank agency disclosure forms to implement and comply with the interpretations of the Maryland Real Estate Commission. The bottom line is quite simple ... you must give agency disclosure and you must have in your possession, either on your person or in your car, at all times, the current blank agency disclosure form for your use when conducting an open house, showing property to a buyer client, either at the open house or at a scheduled showing.

    (By Alvin C. Monshower, Jr., Monshower, Miller & Magrogan, LLP, general legal counsel for the Maryland Association of REALTORS®, Inc. This article is intended to be a general discussion of the topic. As with all legal matters, the reader should consult with competent legal counsel regarding any actual situations or questions.)


    Earn All MD and DC Required CEU at PGCAR

    All classes are held at PGCAR offices. There's plenty of parking.

    This Wednesday, June 26
    Up to 6 hours of MD and DC CEU
    various 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

    Friday, July 12
    MD Legislative Update
    3 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    MD Fair Housing
    1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
    1.5 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Monday, July 15
    Commercial SBA Loan Programs
    3 MD Elective CEU
    John Throne 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Tuesday, July 16
    RPR® Basics
    Non-CEU Class
    Margaret Ireland 10:00 am - 12 noon
    Reverse Mortgages
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Eric Rittmeyer 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Friday, July 19
    MREC Required Supervision
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Larry Hudson 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Wednesday, July 24
    Financing Issues / Update
    3 DC Required Financing Issues / Update CEU;
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Michael Chelst 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    Successfully Selling Government Owned Properties
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Melanie Gamble 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Wednesday, September 4
    GRI 200 Series - Full Series of 5 Classes Begins
    6 hrs Legislative Update and 21 hrs Elective CE
    various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

    Complete CEU Schedule >


    The Savings Continue on All PGCAR Classes!

    Maryland and DC real estate CEU is on sale at PGCAR PGCAR Members and REALTORS®. . .
    Save HUGE on All DC and Maryland Real Estate CE offered at PGCAR!

    Register for ANY 3 CE class for $18 early bird, $33 regular.
    Register for ANY 1.5 CE class for $11 early bird, $26 regular.

    Hurry to today >


    Market Sen$e: Slight Ease in Fixed Mortgage Rates Following Six-Week Rising Trend

    Last Thursday, June 20, results released by Freddie Mac reflected easing in fixed mortgage rates' recent upward trend. The slightly lower rates are attributed to market anticipation of the Federal Reserve's June 19 monetary policy announcement.

    The 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.93 percent last week. The 15-year fixed rate was also down, at 3.04 percent.

    Freddie Mac's Vice President and Chief Economist, Frank Nothaft, observed that the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announced continuation of both the current pace in its bond-buying program and its highly accommodative stance in monetary policy.

    "The Fed also affirmed that the housing sector has strengthened further. For instance, single-family housing permits increased nearly 2 percentage points in May to an annualized pace of 649,000 homes, the most since May 2008," said Nothaft. "In addition, homebuilder confidence in June rose to its highest reading since March 2006."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending June 20, 2013:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.93%, down from 3.98%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.04%, down from 3.10%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.79%, same as last week.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.57%, down from 2.58%.
    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >

    Like us on Facebook to see monthly Prince George's County home sales and weekly mortgage reports as soon as they are released!


    2013 - 2014 MAR Leadership Academy
    Applications Due Thursday, August 1

    The Maryland Association of REALTORS® Leadership Academy offers an enriching opportunity for REALTORS® to strengthen leadership skills through a series of eight sessions. Applications for the upcoming October 10, 2013 through April 15, 2014 sessions are due Thursday, August 1, 2013. Applicants must be available for an interview on August 8 or August 20.

    Details and application >
    Leadership Academy brochure >


    County Home Settlements Still on the Rise
    May Statistics Available at >

    facebook logo May home sales statistics are now available for Prince George's County!

    Single-family settlements increased 5.3% from April to May, and several of the upper-bracket categories increased by 100% or more in the same time frame.

    Condos and co-ops followed suit, with settlements overall making an 8.1% jump over May 2012. Also, contracts in the $200,000 - $299,999 price range increased by 175%, or 11 contracts in May, compared with just 4 in April.

    Visit for more details. And don't forget to like PGCAR on Facebook to see monthly statistics first!

    And coverage on the national market from
    Existing-Home Sales Rise in May with Strong Price Increases
    REALTORS® Call for Legislative Changes to New Rules Limiting Affordable Borrowing Options


    Sales Coach
    When Emotions Run High: Helping Distressed Clients

    Home Sales Coach As REALTORS®, we often see clients' very raw emotions. Not only is relocating one of the most stressful events in life - on its own - but in many cases, our clients have also endured life-changing situations that necessitated the move to a new home. Loss of employment; employment in a new location; divorce/separation; loss of a spouse, parent or child; drastic change in finances (either good or bad); and, either adding children to the family or watching them leave the nest - any of these changes can heighten the sensitivity of clients we work with, and some clients won't even share their stresses with you. How, then, can we serve them as REALTORS® while at the same time de-escalating the situation for them as much as possible?

    The following are some tips that may help you mitigate the strain for your clients:
    1. Anticipate emotions/agitation.
    2. Try to understand why they might become upset.
    3. Manage expectations appropriately.
    4. Don't let them feel powerless.
    5. Show them respect.
    6. Help them stay focused.
    7. Hide the panic button.
    8. Build trust.
    9. Stay calm and do your job.
    10. Give yourself a break.
    Helping your clients ease the transition from one life to another is not only emotionally rewarding for you; it may also set you apart as the REALTOR® who works magic.

    For details on these tips and additional information about easing stress for clients, click here.


    Case #13-1: Preparation of Instrument Unrelated
    to Real Estate Transaction

    Client A dropped in to see his friend, REALTOR® B, who had recently provided professional services to Client A's company. Client A said that his company was sending him on business to the Far East; that the trip would involve a good deal of air travel in remote areas; and that he would like to leave a power of attorney with his wife while he was gone "just in case." He asked REALTOR® B if he would prepare a power of attorney for him and REALTOR® B said, "It's a simple document. I'll be glad to prepare one for you," and did.

    This action came to the attention of the Grievance Committee of the Board of REALTORS® , which, after review, filed a complaint with the Board's Professional Standards Committee, charging REALTOR® B with a violation of Article 13 of the Code of Ethics.

    REALTOR® B's defense was that he understood Client A's request to be essentially for a real estate service since from his general knowledge of Client A's personal affairs, he knew that Client A could have no reason for giving his wife a power of attorney except to put her in a position to act in a real estate transaction. He contended that because his preparation of a legal document was directly related to real estate matters, he had rendered real estate, not legal, service to Client A.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 13, what do you think the hearing panel concluded? Click here to find out >


    Oklahoma REALTORS® Distributing Tornado Aid

    Oklahoma Association of REALTORS The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® is helping REALTORS® who have lost their homes in Moore and other tornado-ravaged areas through the Oklahoma Housing Foundation REALTOR® Disaster Relief Fund. "We have received many offers of supplies from all over the country," the association says. "The REALTOR® Family is truly coming together to help our folks in Moore."

    The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® is accepting donations online to assist those affected by the multiple deadly tornadoes that recently hit Oklahoma.

    Click here for more information and to donate to Oklahoma REALTOR® Relief. Thank you for your generosity!


    REALTORS® Federal Credit Union
    Personal and Professional Lines of Credit

    Whether you're consolidating higher interest debt, investing in home or business improvements, spreading tuition or annual dues payments, or simply opening a line of credit "just in case", you can cover it with a REALTORS® Federal Credit Union line of credit or personal loan.

    Apply for personal or professional loans and find out more about great offers here >


    SentriLock Lockbox sale expires soon!  Get yours today!

    Pay only $65 each (plus tax) for up to 9 lockboxes; order larger numbers and enjoy even
    greater discounts! Power paddles are also discounted to $55 for a limited time. To take
    advantage of these great prices, please contact Shirley at the Association office.

    Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®
    8300 Corporate Drive, Suite 100  :  Landover, MD 20785
    Phone 301-306-7900  :  Fax 301-306-8273  :  :  ©2013 PGCAR

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