Give Up

Tear the Roof Off The Sucker (Give Up The Funk) — Parliament

Tear the roof off? Remember when Jim Cramer said we should plow under the Inland Empire? That might be a bit extreme, but these lazy houses need to be punished somehow, don’t they? Houses used to provide a steady supplemental income, and now they don’t. Think about all the people out there who became accustomed to the free money their houses were generating. If I were one of them, I would be pretty angry.

Today’s featured property is another in our endless series on HELOC abuse. For any of you that thought this was not common, I hope all these posts are opening your eyes to the reality of the situation. HELOC abuse is everywhere, and these people are watching their supplemental income disappear which in turn is taking down our local economy. Are these cases the exception rather than the rule? It really doesn’t matter, does it? There are enough of these properties to materially impact the market. These are properties that would not ordinarily be for sale. They are added market inventory, and when they become REOs, they will be sold at whatever price the market will bear. Market prices are set at the fringes. It doesn’t matter if 95% of homeowners where responsible (they weren’t) because all of those who were not responsible are going into foreclosure and causing the precipitous price declines we are currently witnessing. The vast majority of HELOC abusers are going to lose their homes, and the resulting REOs are going to continue to pummel the market for some time to come.

So what happened to today’s sellers? They took out $726,500 and exercised their “put” option leaving the lender holding the bag.

Asking Price: $950,000IrvineRenter

Income Requirement: $237,500

Downpayment Needed: $190,000

Monthly Equity Burn: $7,916

Purchase Price: $381,500

Purchase Date: 6/26/1996

Address: 7 Mountainbrook, Irvine, CA 92620Short Sale

Beds: 5
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 2,805
$/Sq. Ft.: $339
Lot Size: 5,200

Sq. Ft.

Type: Single Family Residence
Style: Contemporary/Modern
Year Built: 1996
Stories: Two Levels
Area: Northwood
County: Orange
MLS#: P621665
Status: Active
On Redfin: 77 days

Great large family home with guard gated community with two pools,
parks and private access to hiking trail. Cul-de-sac location. Walking
distance to award winning elementary and high school. Property to be
sold AS-IS condition.

As-is condition and no interior photos? Hmmm…




Why do I think these sellers gave up? They listed the property for $1,200,000 on February 9, 2008 which would have been enough money to pay off all their debts and commissions. When it didn’t sell (big surprise), they lowered their asking price to $950,000: they gave up. It is hard to feel too sorry for them. They had a good time while the rally lasted.

This house was purchased for $381,500 in June of 1996. They put 25% down and financed $285,900. That is a conservative, responsible purchase. On 12/15/2000, they had their first sip of kool aid when they refinanced for $420,000 taking out all their equity plus an additional 40 large. The kool aid must have tasted good because in April of 2002, they refinanced for $495,000 taking out another 75 large. In 2006, they got serious about getting that free money. In February of 2006, they opened a HELOC for $150,000. In June of 2006, they refinanced with an Option ARM for a whopping $868,000. That is an additional withdrawal from the housing ATM of $373,000 (including the HELOC.) Then in July, they opened another HELOC for $250,000. It looks as if they took out this money. The total debt of the last refinance and HELOC is $1,118,000. If they could have sold the house for $1,200,000, they would have would have broken even. If they hadn’t taken out the HELOC, why would this be sold in an As-Is condition for $950,000 with no other price reductions? If they didn’t tap the HELOC, a sale at $950,000 would still leave them with some equity. It doesn’t appear there is any more equity left for them. That is what happens when you spend that free money.


ParliamentTear the roof off, we’re gonna tear the roof off the mother, sucker
Tear the roof off the sucker

You’ve got a real type of thing going down, gettin’ down
There’s a whole lot of rhythm going round

Ow, we want the funk
Give up the funk
Ow, we need the funk
We gotta have that funk

Tear the Roof Off The Sucker (Give Up The Funk) — Parliament

64 thoughts on “Give Up

  1. Agent#777

    That is quite a story. Makes me wonder if they may have bought a house or land somewhere else with the big refi? I know a couple people who have done that.

    1. IrvineRenter

      When I see a case where the borrower only made one large withdrawal, I think investment is a real possibility, but when you see a trend of repeated small withdrawals, HELOC abuse is a more likely explanation.

      1. NoWow!way

        My bet would be real estate speculation. The timing of that last HELOC/Loan was during the peak when everyone was convinced that land was going to run out.

        I wonder if they bought in Vegas 😉

    2. ipoplaya

      I was going to tour this house, but found out that 1) it’s definitely a short and I didn’t want to deal with the hassle, 2) they are renting out rooms to various people and often times the bedrooms are locked and can’t be viewed, 3) they got their NOD so they haven’t been paying the mortgages…

      Too much bad mojo on this puppy.

  2. itsagreattimetobuy

    If ever there was a wishing price it was $1,200,000. People seem to have forgotten that even OC was not immune during the last bubble burst. But the real question is what did they spend the money on and when is the garage sale?

  3. NoWow!way

    We were down in San Clemente/Marblehead area over the weekend. LOTS of for sale and for rent signs. FISBO’s, empty homes and open houses. Friends there report 3 recent break ins in the neighborhood. The homes there are very similar to this one, featured. Large, fairly recently built and at the peak they were selling for million +$$.

    Beautiful homes. Not being snapped up.

    1. IrvineRealtor

      How long does it take before we see an increase in similar crime/vandalism/b-and-e here in our fair city?

      1. CapitalismWorks

        There were a couple of recent breaking and entries in quail hill, and a couple of vehicle break-ins. All in the past couple of weeks. A year ago I would never have dreamed that type of activity could have occurred.

  4. george8

    Maybe the owners turned themselves into one of the boom time RE guru by using their equity as play money?

    At $950k it is asking on par with other low $300/sf listings in Northwood. However, I doubt that is where buyers are even today. Perhaps the bank is smart enough to take any offer above $800K ($285/sf).

    This house will be at around $680K in 2010 which is based on 1996 price with compounded 5% gain to 2010. (estimate)

    1. ipoplaya

      This house is in Northwood Pointe, not old Northwood, and at $950K its by far the cheapest thing going there.

      Similar-sized house in relatively the same area (not guard-gated like this one) closed not that long ago for $1.04M. Another smaller one, $975K.

      At $950K, it’s probably priced about right depending on how thrashed it is. I would buy it sight unseen for $800K. It’s in a great location…

      1. mmg

        IPO–>At $950K, it’s probably priced about right depending on how thrashed it is. I would buy it sight unseen for $800K. It’s in a great location…

        this is how we got into this mess in the first place. this is an average house. in the 500Ks at most. or in other words a family making in the highest 5% of incomes even for the OC/Irvine.

        1. ipoplaya

          Yeah, just an average house, behind guard shacks in NW Pointe. Only IUSD’s highest-rated elementary school, Northwood High School, etc. Sitting on a culdy just up the street from a very nice park and walking trail…

          1970’s trash in El Camino is selling for $275/sf. Any realistic person would probably be willing to pay $280/sf for this place today considering that. The lowest a place like this goes to $250/sf.

          At $800K, its cheaper for me to buy it vs. rent it. I’d have no problem buying at $800K and letting the value decline another $50-75K before it bottomed.

        2. rkp

          That is just rediculous MMG. For this house to fall to the 500Ks would mean that the house appreciated less than 3% since 1996. Or another way to think about it is that the 1996 price was inflated as well.

          I don’t think 1996 pricing was bubbly and I think 5-6% is more appropriate. Prices are dropping and if the bottom is around 2010, that would put the house at 750-850 with a 5-6% appreciation since 1996.

        3. mmg

          have you guys looked at the income requirements and downpayment. although a nice house in a nice neighborhood( no pool, view), again you need some one in the highest 3% of income earners with a massive downpayment. its not that the house has not appreciated but rather incomes have not appreciated that much. actually in these income brackets will be the greater losses with mortgate brokers seeing their incomes disappear, business owners going thru the recession seeing their earnings reduced etc.

          below is a Wiki reference to incomes:

          Household income distribution
          Bottom 10%–$0 to $10,500 Bottom 20%–$0 to $18,500 Bottom 25%–$0 to $22,500 Middle 33%–$30,000 to $62,500 Middle 20%–$35,000 to $55,000 Top 25%–$77,500 and up Top 20%–$92,000 and up Top 5%–$167,000 and up Top 1.5%–$250,000 and up Top 1%–$350,000 and up

          Think about these numbers for a moment. :mrgreen:

        4. Kirk

          I agree with you that it will bottom near $250 sq/ft. Maybe a little less, probably a little more. Even if you calc 4% yearly appreciation from ’96 (near nominal bottom) it ends up at $235 sq/ft in 2010 assuming a bottom. But, we won’t be at bottom then, so the market will be higher than that. 2011 would calc to $245 sq/ft and I doubt that will be bottom either, but close enough – so $260-$270?. It would be awesome if I’m wrong and this thing goes for less. We did overbuild everywhere so we will overcorrect, but then again much of the excess inventory is getting vandalized and may eventually be torn down. Not in Irvine, but in Corona and the like.

  5. ET

    Have been meaning to post this but someone turned me on to which has a link to Foreclosure Heat Maps for Atlanta, Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, DC metro area, NYC, and Boston – basically all the hot areas. Seeing all the little red houses is truly depressing.

    1. cara


      Thanks for the link. I’m looking in the D.C. area, Franconia specifically, and just this morning there was an article in the washingtonpost (local section, not real estate, funny that…) about vandalism and squatters in Springfield/Franconia foreclosed homes.

      Thanks partly to IR, we’ve been trying to keep perspective. When we went to look at two open houses this weekend, we walked out and said, okay what would you pay for that? Both were listed at ~300k. One we said, not more than $200k, the other $225. and lo and behold when we got home we found a new redfin listing for an identical condo unit (floorplan wise obviously) for $225. Too bad we still won’t buy it, it’s too darn small. So, of course today we’re thinking that we need to look amongst the townhouses, of which only foreclosures are currently in our price range. But man alive, I don’t want to be worrying about a house I put a bid on getting broken into and stripped before closing or worse before we can move in. Gah. Because the density of FCs is so high, this is a real concern. Grrrrr. But here’s a handy comment in IHB to help us keep track of it, just when we needed it.


  6. NanoWest

    This is a nice $500,000 dollar home……….give it about 3 years and it will get to that price….it is only a matter of time.

    In looking at the web real estate sites, it seems that more and more purchasers of home from the 80’s are looking to sell their homes. My guess is that they figure now or wait another 15 years. These sellers will drive prices down, because they have lots of equity and have little to lose by reducing prices.

    1. george8

      That’s an interesting point as well as a major factor in affecting the next cycle – baby boomer generation’s housing behavior.

    2. ipoplaya

      That’s a pipe dream Nano. At $550K, this would be a 2000 rollback. It’s not going to fall that far and if it does, that fall won’t be sustained. What you are saying is that houses should and will far below inflation-adjusted appreciation… If houses values are tied inherently/fundamentally to wage inflation, how could your premise ever be possible?

      Consider this, which is suggest inflation-adjusted equilibrium, rolling forward from 1990, should be 2002 prices:

      1. alan


        your sounding downright bearish again. You must be confused by this weird bull market rally we are having based on what? Free Air?

        I’m turning into a believer that the recession will be deep and long. So Cal is just starting to get hit.

        At this time, I would be surprised if your Case-Shiller index stays above 2000 levels and I wouldn’t expect any recovery for So Cal until mid 2020’s. I think we are goint back to 98 values.

        1. Surfing in Newport

          that would require a major correction in the rental prices. Most neighborhoods that I’ve looked at will return to 2002 prices based on rent vs. buy and then looking at historical sales data on Redfin.

        2. CapitalismWorks

          I think your rental analysis is flawed by asymetric information, and a lack of published data. I am currently renting and enjoying well “below market” rent. Applying a 160 GRM to my current place puts is at 60% of the current market price (based on recent comps). Using IAC $/sq ft rates this is not apparent, however I believe that rental rates on SFRs are not comparable to IAC rates (my experience demonstrates the disparity, nor is my experience unique). If sale prices were to drop to a level that justifies my rental price we would see a >50% discount off-peak.

        3. Surfing in Newport

          The interesting point of your argument is that using inflation as the percent increase for rents is probably not appropriate for rent vs. buy. For example, even with the IAC, you are suppose to get a 1% discount from the market rent for each year that you rent (for the first 5 years).

          When I did my analysis, I didn’t use IAC rents. I tried to find SFR rentals on the MLS/Craigslist to compare to prices. Even to the point of trying to match models, not just sq ft in a neighborhood. To filter out the flop lord wishing rental prices, I always use the lowest rental price advertised. Still issues with differences in how up to date the properties are kept.

        4. lendingmaestro

          rents are dropping at least based on my research (which had been quite extensive). Ipoplaya, did you drink some kool aid this weekend? You seem very bullish today, or perhaps unbearish is a better way to put it.

          2000 Rollbacks are quite possible. In fact I’d say they are inevitable. My friend and I were pulling up sitex listings on properties in NorthPark this weekend. Those homes were purchased in the Low 500k range, some even below 500k. A 850-950k price in 2008 would equate to brain melting 9% appreciation EVERY YEAR for eight straight years.

        5. CapitalismWorks

          Listed rents are only an ask, thus theyu cannot be used to proxy market rates (though perhaps use for trend analysis) Where the Ask meets the Bid is the market clearing price. After negotiating 15% off the ask for my current rental, and confirming with multiple colleagues who have negotiated similar or greater discounts off “Rental Asks”, I am led to believe that published rents are skewed upwards (just like the current list price on for sale homes). Furthermore, given the economics of the decision (can any decision be non-economic?), I believe individual owners are far more likely to accept discount offers on rental for fear of vacancy.

          Bottom line, the posted rents are too high. Using a 10% or greater discounts as the input to the the rent vs. buy decision is appropriate.

      2. Paul

        I don’t want to speak for him, but I think Nano is predicting the bottom, not the price at which the house will eventually “settle”.

        The current owner bought at 380k in 1996.

        How much wage inflation have we seen since then?

        If we have seen 3%, Nano isn’t that far off, is he?

        I understand that prices in 1996 were below normal, but why should the bottom be any less severe this time around? I think we will face the same fundamental problems of 1) lack of qualified buyers [there will likely be very few with a downpayment and anyone who bought in the past several years will have a tough time cashing out their equity when “trading up”]; 2) massive foreclosures; and 3) fear in the market after massive price declines.

        BTW, using a wage inflation rate of 3-4% per year, I have noticed that houses on the coast that are now listed for 400-500 GRM sold for ~110-130 GRM in 1995.

        Of course, not everyone wants to take the chance that prices will fall that far again, and not everyone can convince their significant others to wait.

        For the experts, if interest rate for a standard mortgage goes up to 7, 8, 9, or 10%, how much does this lower the GRM? Just curious.

        1. SDChad

          I don’t remember if it was this blog or another, but wage inflation from ’96 to ’06 was around 3.4% and rents were with a tenth or two. So if your basis is rent multiples for affordability, you have to ask what is different this time versus ’96. Bubble – Check (larger); recession – Check; large number of foreclosures – Check. I don’t see big difference.

      3. NanoWest


        Yes I am saying that housing will fall below the inflation adjusted values from 2000. My reasoning for my prediction are the same as always, low savings rates for first time buyers, low availability of credit for homes……etc. etc. Even more important is the stench that owning a home will have after 2 or 3 more years of national press about bankrupt, desperate home owners.

        As a side note, I lived in that neighborhood, on Runningbrook for about 5 years and it is a nice place to raise a family. If you can find a place on the greenbelt, it is even better.

    1. Surfing in Newport

      That explains the very slow to no response from the blog today. Do we need to take up a collection for more bandwidth?

  7. syvanen

    I have difficulty believing that large numbers of people have gotten burned in HELOC abuse.

    In my case I paid off my mortgage a decade past. Then in about 2002 or thereabouts I started receiving unsolicited offers of credit lines that were ridiculously large; the biggest being 500k.

    My reaction was purely instinctual, not carefully reasoned out at all. Why should I go back into debt that I had worked 15 years paying off? Money that I was not putting into my mortgage was going into a 401K. That does not take intelligent planning. I would think that most people would respond as I did.

    1. rkp

      Do you live in the OC synanen? I don’t think the majority of the folks abused their heloc but I don’t think it was a very small group of people either. Esp in areas like the OC where every single person was upgrading their house, car, and body!

    2. Rocker

      Didn’t you see the increase in House & Garden expos?

      Didn’t you see people remodeling: kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, backyards, exotic pools, or at least updated furniture for all the house?

    3. Ed Dunkle

      I prepare taxes and I can tell you that a significant percentage of my clients have HELOC abuse problems. A lot of people just can’t resist the siren song of all that lovely money.

    4. lendingmaestro

      Hmmm, well I originate mortgage loans for a living, in a rather high volume atmosphere, and I can tell you that HELOC abuse was absolutely mind-blowing the past 5 years.

      You are the exception not the rule. People lived off HELOCS.

    5. IrvineRenter

      A tax professional and a high-volume lender, both people who would have inside knowledge, are saying HELOC abuse was widespread. That seems pretty convincing to me.

  8. houseonlegs

    Unbelievable how many people have a similar story to this. You wouldn’t think that someone who purchased this home with 25% down in 1996 would now be losing it at this price. Neg-am/Heloc abuse was so easy to do up until a year ago. We will be seeing more and more of these properties come on the market with recasting neg-ams, there is no way people can adjust to the payments once they recast. During the boom years, it was cheaper to buy with a neg-am loan than renting.

  9. Laura Louzader

    This is unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable.

    The various comments left on this post make it even more unreal.

    Here is someone who was heeled enough to make a responsible purchase at $381K, with 20% down, and also, presumably, an income of at least $95K.

    I mean, we are not talking about low-income “white trash” here, yet this is how they acted. These people heedlessly borrowed money against this house they had to know they could never hope to pay back.

    I’ve heard that as many as one-third of all U.S. mortageholders have borrowed against their houses with HELOCs, including many folks who’ve owned their places for 20 years or more and ought to be sitting pretty.

    It sure explains the spate of really spectacular renovations and additions in my mother’s suburban St. Louis area. Houses that had seen no improvements for 40 years were suddenly doubled in size, with incredible additions featuring spa baths, double-heigh ceilings, and $10,000 worth of custom lighting.

    It also explains why these same places are often REO.

    From my vantage point, that of a moderate-income woman saving for a modest 2 bed condo in a good, well-established building on the lakefront, it is appalling. The word “disgusting” doesn’t cover the swinishness and irresponsibility of people who make good income and who could have bought a very nice place with little risk, and be hundreds of thousands of dollars ahead now, if only they had resisted the obvious trap of using your house as an ATM.

    1. Surfing in Newport

      Hey, if your house is going to be worth a million dollars, it should look like a million dollars.

      Unless they start making you post your tax returns on the front door, the only way to judge how well you are doing is by the car you drive on the granite on the counter top.

      1. jhill

        As another very conservative (economically) person, living in a paid-off house that is about half the house I could qualify for with my income, I am more sympathetic to these hapless HELOC’d out owners. For years people like me were being told they were stupid, backward, and downright unamerican. All the smart money developed the “They aren’t making any more land” theme, and the idea that it made sense to remodel because you had to — not keep up with the Joneses in the usual sense — but to be sure that you could sell, didn’t become an eyesore, etc., and that you had to own a nice car, really nice clothes, latest electronic gadgets, etc. so that people would have a good opinion of you and do business with you. Clearly a lot of people posting to this blog didn’t listen to these messages (or are so young they only heard the last couple of years of them), and good for them! But I wouldn’t describe buying into a genuinely overwhelming phenomenon of mass psychology as “swinish”.

        1. zoiks

          “But I wouldn’t describe buying into a genuinely overwhelming phenomenon of mass psychology as “swinish”.”

          jhill, 1940’s Germany called and they want their excuses back…

          Die Schweine!

          Nonetheless, congrats on being economically prudent.

  10. mooser42001

    I would think that most people would respond as I did.

    Really? Watch the roads this summer. Be careful and don’t run into a HELOC-Davidson motorcycle. They are everywhere.

  11. JP

    I saw this house last week, My trash can is better than this house. Windows are broken, bedroom ceiling has cracks.
    Anyone buy buying this house will have to cleanup the whole sh**t inside and have to remodel every thing inside.

    1. alan

      (rallying to ipop’s defense)

      Don’t be so hard on ipop..

      He’s still smarter than BofA, look what they paid for CountryFried…

    2. ipoplaya

      Can’t that be that big of a schmuck if I can afford to swing $800K and still pop $100K into remodel…

      At $800K, this place would be 33% off peak. That’s good enough for me, especially since I already own and lose equity every month anyway.

      1. alan


        sorry, didn’t mean to swell your head so much..

        being a schmuck and having a little dough are too completely different things.

      2. zoiks

        “Can’t that be that big of a schmuck if I can afford to swing $800K and still pop $100K into remodel…”

        Yeah, whatever dude. I guess you really are a schmuck.

        (Sheesh, and spare us the big swinging dick charade, would ya? Those of us who are paying attention know better.)

  12. socaldoc

    This is my first post, but I visit this site almost daily. It keeps me in check and reminds me of what home values SHOULD really be.

    Everyone is assuming that these people were irresponsible. How do we know that they did not take that equity and buy two houses paid in cash is a less expensive place like Houston for instance.

    They can live in one with no mortgage and get rental income from another.

    Maybe their plan was to forclose all along.

    Maybe they were not irresponsible, just immoral.

    On a side note, does anyone remember or know how much home valuses in the OC fell in the mid 90’s when OC went bankrupt?

    I am curious to know.

    1. alan

      In the 90’s home values fell about 25% from 91 to 94 and stayed low for another 4 years before recovering. But the run-up wasn’t as huge as this amazing bubble.

  13. patience

    Sorry for repeating myself, but maybe nobody is reading Thursday’s comments any more, so I will repost mine:

    On the Ventura County craigslist ad for apartments and housing I am noticing a drastic increase in the number of rentals available. I don’t know if this is a function of increased rentals available, or an increased number of people who have discovered craigslist.

    Is a housing crash going to result in more rentals available and the price of rentals to go down? It would seem like if people are getting kicked out of homes they “own” that they would then be looking to rent instead and drive up prices.

    Or, is it a matter of displaced homeowners moving out of the area, and few people moving into the area because it’s too expensive?

    And, just for fun, if anybody wants to see a house being listed for 51% of its 10/21/2005 purchase price of $545,000, check this out:

    1. IrvineRenter

      I suspect we will see volatility in rents with an eventual decline over the next year, maybe two. There are still a large number of vacant properties held by flippers:

      As people move out of foreclosed homes, it creates a temporary shortage of rentals, but as people buy and occupy vacant homes, it increases the supply of available rentals. Plus floplords are adding rental supply as well.

      BTW, that Thousand Oaks haircut is pretty drastic. It looks like the guy was chasing the market down for a few months as well. Did you see the Zestimate of $1,069,500 on a house priced at $279,995? I think Zillow has some work to do.

      1. alan

        I concur, Zillow is completely unreliable right now, their program can’t keep up the rate homes are deflating. I’m not sure what they can do to fix it. There site will perform better when things settle down but as long as there is unpredictable price deflation they will always be behind the curve.

  14. Kirk

    These two people annoy me:

    At Publix, Johnny and Amanda pick up extra sacks of rolls to throw from the balcony. Boredom plus altitude means lookout below.

    Another negative: Maintenance is slow. Not long ago, Johnny clogged the garbage chute with pizza boxes, and when no one showed up to fix the problem, he dragged a concrete block five flights up and dropped it in the chute. When that failed, he tried another.

    “It just exploded,” he says.

    Johnny and Amanda play kickball with his kids in the common areas when they visit. And the kids ride their scooters down empty hallways, past darkened condominiums, across carpet that doesn’t need vacuuming.

    “You wanna sneak up to the penthouse?” Johnny asks.

    1. Soapboxpolitico

      Can you say douche-bag and his blonde sidekick? I swear I’d punch this bozo in the face if I met him in person. This pair? … Talk about a cliche? Good grief it doesn’t even require explanation.

      By the way, what is he 39 going on 12? Throwing rolls over the balcony railing? Chucking veggies off the same perch? Wow.

      I weep for the future.

  15. Flyovercountry

    I’m guessing the HELOCs and refi’s were spent on other buying real estate investments. Put that equity to work for you! Only losers have paid off loans, etc. So if they had $800k in borrowed equity… that is what, maybe a $4,000,000 real estate empire if they used the $800k for a 20% downpayments?

    So there are probably another 4 to 8 properties that they “owned” that are also in the forclosure process right now.

  16. lendingmaestro

    Well you can see the owners name in the online records. All you need to do is search by NAME and it will pull up other properties owned by that person(s). You have to search by county though.

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