Hide the Zombies?

From the South Jersey Times:

Don’t give N.J. zombie homes the upper hand

Owing to its ongoing high rate of residential foreclosures, New Jersey has become known the Land of the Zombie Houses. If a just-filed lawsuit succeeds, the zombie fighters — our towns and counties — will find it much tougher to fend off the attack.

And it’s a horrible idea to let the zombie enablers win.

Those enablers include investors who snap up vacant housing stock at tax and mortgage default sales, hoping to make a killing by flipping the properties. Of course, that’s a perfectly legitimate, even desirable, way, to get the homes occupied and paying property taxes on time.

But a group of lien buyers want to overturn vacant-property registry ordinances enacted by towns fed up with owner-unoccupied homes for which no one seems to be responsible. Gloucester County set up a novel countywide program to help its towns to establish these registries in 2015. The county should be applauded for helping towns know who is responsible for maintenance and security while these properties sit idle in foreclosure limbo. Instead, four of the towns — Deptford, Glassboro, Monroe and Paulsboro — are targeted by the litigation.

We’ll concede that we don’t know enough about New Jersey foreclosure and tax-sale law to say that the investors who filed the litigation don’t have a valid point or two. They claim in Superior Court, Gloucester County, that the fees are excessive and conflict with existing law that supposedly outlines all charges connected with buying tax lien certificates. Many zombie homes, though, are still owned by banks and mortgage lenders, who are not subject to the certificate redemption fees.

What’s most alarming is the suit’s claim that registration programs are themselves unconstitutional because the state Legislature has not enacted strict parameters for them. The programs involve mainly information that is public — that is, property ownership records — but this information often changes too fast for public databases to keep up.

Any mayor with a boarded-up housing problem can tell you that it can take just a few summertime weeks for insect-harboring weeds to grow to alarming heights or for illness-generating mold to overtake walls. A couple of cold winter nights could entice squatters into empty, inadequately secured homes.

The New Jersey State League of Municipalities maintains that towns have the constitutional right to create vacant property registration ordinances. The league should take the lead in defending the towns. Meanwhile, the Gloucester County municipalities that were sued can bolster their case with real-world examples showing that the programs work — and have enabled a rapid defense against eyesores, rodent infestations, fires, drug dens and general neighborhood blight.

This entry was posted in Foreclosures, New Jersey Real Estate, South Jersey Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to Hide the Zombies?

  1. grim says:

    JR is like the worst son ever.

  2. Grab them by the puzzy says:


    Plot twist I most look forward to:
    the slow reveal that Tifffany is the Keyser Söze mastermind behind the entire thing.

  3. 30 year realtor says:

    7 Properties in Wayne still on schedule to be sold at today’s Passaic County Sheriff sale.

  4. Grab them by the puzzy says:

    ‘A corporate chief whose public behaviour was as erratic as that of Mr Trump would already have been replaced.’

    July 9, 2017 5:59 pm by Lawrence Summers

    “Confusing civility with comity is a grave mistake in human or international relations. Yes, the G20 summit did agree on a common communiqué after the leaders’ meeting. Some see this as an achievement or an indication that some normality in international relations between the US and other countries is being restored. The truth is that at no previous G20 meeting did the possibility that there would not be a common statement agreed by all participants occur to anyone.

    Rather than seeing agreement as an achievement, it is more accurate to see the content of the communiqué as a confirmation of the breakdown of international order that many have feared since the election of Donald Trump. The president’s behaviour in and around the summit was unsettling to US allies and confirmed the fears of those who believe that his conduct is the greatest threat to American security.”

    A corporate chief executive whose public behaviour was as erratic as that of Mr Trump would already have been replaced. The standard for democratically elected officials is appropriately different. But one cannot look at the past months and rule out the possibility of even more aberrant behaviour in the future. The president’s cabinet and his political allies in Congress should never forget that the oaths they swore were not to the defence of the president but to the defence of the constitution.”

  5. 30 year realtor says:

    Responding to a question about sheriff sales from 2 days ago…There is no interior access available before a property is sold at sheriff sale in NJ. Sometimes the property may be listed as a short sale and it could be accessed but this has no relationship to the sheriff sale process. Properties that have been abandoned and rekeyed by lenders are accessible to those of us in the industry who collect the keys commonly used by lenders.

    Attempting to compete at sheriff sales without an extensive knowledge of real estate valuation, construction cost estimating and laws surrounding real estate and foreclosure is an enormous risk.

  6. Xolepa says:

    30 year, maybe you can answer a question for me: I am aware of a multi-family property in west Jersey that went into foreclosure and was taken back by the bank in May. I am trying to snag it – at the right price, of course. However, the bank has not put it up for sale. Someone is still taking rent on it, as the tenant situation hasn’t changed. What I do know is that I bought a near identical property right next to it in March. $80k lower than the foreclosure buyout price.

    Do you know what is happening?

  7. 3b says:

    30 year. 7 properties in Wayne? Can’t be. Stop being so negative .

  8. 3b says:

    Anybody familiar with Wanamassa in Ocean Co?

  9. 30 year realtor says:


    Trouble is the plaintiff on the foreclosure action may have been substituted and possibly multiple times. Never really sure who took back the property, what their cost basis is or what their agenda is. Very few of these companies get anything done quickly or sensibly.

  10. 30 year realtor says:

    3b – Ocean Twp in Monmouth County, it is a section of Ocean Twp.

  11. Hillary's Cankles are ground zero for Zika virus says:

    Wasn’t Springsteen from there?

  12. Xolepa says:

    30, makes sense. Thank You.

    Also, there was a second on the property.

  13. 3b says:

    30 year. Thanks. We are thinking of buying a place down there and eventually retire. Close to the ocean but without the premium. Taxes appear reasonable by Jersey standards.

  14. Hillary's Cankles are ground zero for Zika virus says:


    Atlantic City is turning. :P

  15. 3b says:

    Steam no thanks on AC. Can’t believe we are even considering it. But could purchase a small house for cash. And have property taxes of 4 to 5k.

  16. 3b says:

    We just can’t see us doing the North Carolina thing. And no thanks to Florida year round although definitely Fla for the winter months.

  17. 3b says:

    I will take Mellencamp over Springsteen. Guess if I was Jersey born it would be different.

  18. abeiz says:

    30 year,
    read your post re: Ft. Lee from yesterday

    Curious, aren’t these (sheriff sale) purchases all cash in 10 days or something like that?

    Lived around that area in a few places. Maintenance on that unit must be a killer.

  19. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    How do ya like those Maples?

    Plot twist I most look forward to:
    the slow reveal that Tifffany is the Keyser Söze mastermind behind the entire thing.

  20. The Great Pumpkin says:

    The Rise and Fall of Working From Home – Bloomberg

  21. leftwing says:

    Good article on a frequent topic. Times again, Brooks again. Need to look him up. Insightful.

    Of course plumpy will see only two words that aren’t the point of the article and spew 12 posts. For the adults on here worth a read.

    NYTimes: How We Are Ruining America
    How We Are Ruining America https://nyti.ms/2v6qTq1

  22. 3b says:

    Left it was worth a read. I agree with some of it. Ironically many of the attributes he discusses are embraced by so many who deem themselves to be liberal. The orgasmic obsession with food and foodies. The whole foods thing. The latest gadgets etc. Yet these are the same people who claim to care about the less fortunate but yet don’t want them in their neighborhoods or push them out of neighborhoods. They claim to be sophisticated and broad minded yet snicker at the poor slob who orders a pastrami or ham and cheese sandwich. They are self centered and self absorbed and for all their feigned sympathy for the less fortunate and their defense of all sorts of rights they seem to be a very unhappy bunch. I worked for a large investment bank for almost two decades most of the people I worked with came from old money I saw none of this insecurity and affectation I see in this bunch today. And of course one of the first comments I read discussing the article states they have no sympathy for these people because they voted for Trump. Typical. The so called educated liberals are just as ignorant as the so called uneducated unsophisticated pastrami trump supporter. But at least they are not as hypocritical.

  23. 3b says:

    Grim comment in moderation. Did I trigger something? Please release.

  24. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Great comment from that article posted by lefty. lol

    “Recently I took a friend with doctoral degree to lunch. Insensitively I led him into a McDonalds. Suddenly I saw his face freeze up as he was confronted with menu items like “Hamburger” and “Fries” and ingredients like ketchup, mustard and a sesame seed bun. I quickly asked him if he wanted to go somewhere else and he anxiously nodded yes and we ate gluten free vegan Thai.”

  25. 30 year realtor says:


    Maintenance is high but not as high as the unit we recently purchased at The Atrium in Fort Lee. We paid $903,000 for a 3 bed, 3.5 bath, 2800 GLA unit there that we hope to sell for $1.4. Condo fee is $1800 per month.

    Yes, 30 days cash for sheriff sale. 20% at the drop of the gavel.

  26. Hillary's Cankles are ground zero for Zika virus says:

    On that Brooks opinion piece. He’s making the same argument that the guilt-ridden progressives are making about white privilege every opportunity they can. I am not denying there’s some truth to the matter, but as an upper middle class parent, we are all not part of this clique of fancy sandwiches and Whole Food shopping.

    I am in the minority of my upper class town for I do not belong to the country club (though I surely can afford it and it’s ultra-convenient as it’s right across the street from me). My wife works (or at least used to) so she can rarely volunteer in the schools. Yet we still figure out a way too. I c0ach lots of rec teams as well somehow. My son has never been to Kumon, which is also a rarity in this town and has pulled straight A’s with no more than us answering questions he might have on his homework. He has done his homework by himself since Pre-K (a whole ‘nother topic worth exploring but might explain why Kumon is not necessary) and he’s been forced to skip soccer and hockey games when his grades temporarily switched below. So what is my point? I worked just as hard as any lower or middle income family does. Though, I’ve had a pretty solid lower middle class upbringing, my parents valued education over everything. I paid for our my own college and didn’t get my first car till I was 25. I worked full or part time since I learned to ride a bicycle. This can still be done today regardless of where you come from. People MUST value education over everything else, and this can be done without spending an extra bloody cent. But you better be prepared to discipline your kids in the age of the great pussification.

    I do not put up barriers to others. I feel no guilt about how far I’ve come. I don’t eat fancy sandwiches either because I know how quickly and easily I could return to blue collar living. But I could if I wanted to.

    So perhaps the typical New York Times reader is at fault. So perhaps, instead of that sandwich, they should eat bread and butter and send the difference in cost over to the ghetto schools. Or perhaps, as is the case with the average progressive, they usually feel they’ve done enough to simply talk about it and are only willing to help at further than an arm’s length. And there lies the REAL barrier.

  27. 3b says:

    Steam I am much like yourself. And we too value education and understand that it is key to so much. And this is from a background of immigrant parents with a sixth grade education. But just as important is an intellectual curiosity. The critical thinking skills the ability to see it as white when everyone else says it is black. Plus hard work. All things we instilled in our children. I can’t tell you how much bs I heard from parents about college and which is best etc I like to try different food and different restaurants but I don’t get orgasmic talking about it. At heart I am still a blue collar guy. My dad and I used to have wonderful conversations over a couple cans of Coors light. He was so interested in so many things and this a man with no formal education. I have been with the wealthiest of the wealthiest from my Wall Street days and was never put down because of my blue collar immigrant background. And I grew up with blue collar people and have many blue collar friends as well. I am comfortable with both. It’s this new so called progressive food crazy crowd that I find empty and shallow and so very unhappy it appears. And worse so hypocritical.

  28. leftwing says:

    Lib, you and I have very similar backgrounds down to the parenting and the youth employment.

    For me the article was about the subtle cues of belonging to the tribe of opportunity and acceptance therein (having been on the receiving end of rejection early on and not really knowing why).

    Make no mistake, go to a fine breakfast interview with executives in the city and ask for ketchup or pork roll with your eggs and you will be moved down at least a notch. Ditto filet well done. The last is an actual example. Had a lunch at the old Four Seasons with a candidate people were prepared to move on, he just had to show up. The guy orders filet well done. All that was discussed after lunch was “how could you do that to that piece of meat” and then on to which restaurants had the best cuts and prep. Candidate was never mentioned again. I watched an 18 year old I know well at dinner slurp soup holding the spoon like a gardening shovel and then lean over a plate of pasta, take a bite, and suck the strand of spaghetti in all the way. Do that during a lunch interview and the potential employer will likely have to excuse himself to “take a call” before the coffee arrives.

    I focused on food etiquette above. The points are generally applicable. I didn’t golf (still don’t really), never set foot in a German luxury car until after college, and didn’t travel internationally until I was 25. My kids know the finer points of the game, can knowledgeably debate the max torque of a 911 in first from experience, and will discuss in detail the merits of travel in most European capitals. And distinguish between a butter and fish knife, and the best age to crack a Cab versus Bordeaux.

    The article argues (and I agree) it is unfortunate “cultural signifiers” exist and make acceptance less welcome to some. They are real, however, and striking to me is the assertion (with which I agree) that practices may in fact trump material consumption and wealth display as class barriers.

    It doesn’t make my kids better than anyone else. It does mean that when they are on a job interview with someone whose shoes cost more than a family’s sectional sofa they are better positioned to get the keys to the kingdom than Messrs. Slurpee and Welldone.

    If you have kids the article is something to think about, whether you agree with the premise and even if you find its existence somewhat reprehensible.

  29. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Once a staple on television, Advertising Age is reporting that the owners of Ci@lis and Vi@gra, Eli Lilly and Pfizer will be pulling out of the NFL, leaving the league’s upfront ad sales rather tepid and limp.


    Switch out the @’s for a’s to make the link work.

  30. 3b says:

    Left I posted two comments on the article both in moderation. Anyhow I had the dinner thing many years ago. My Aunt worked for a wealthy Jewish family and when I told her about the dinner she instructed me on all the different knives forks and spoons. As for my own kids we instructed them on these little subtle things as well. I think it’s far more of an issue today than it was in the past. And eating red meat today?? Horrifying! My favorite steak house in the city the Post House closed a couple of years ago . A victim of changing tastes.

  31. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    That’s it in a nutshell, good job Stu! What people might miss in this statement are two small, maybe 3 small points.

    1. parents, as in plural.
    2. valued as opposed to assumed their kids were owed a good..
    3. Not stated explicitly, but implied – employed parents.

    So string it all together – my employed parents valued education. That’s it, all you need to know.

    Though, I’ve had a pretty solid lower middle class upbringing, my parents valued education over everything.

  32. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    left – At the crank or at the wheels? At the crank it should be the same in all gears. I hope you taught them to say pounds-feet, not foot-pounds, always a nouveau riche giveaway;-)

    My kids know the finer points of the game, can knowledgeably debate the max torque of a 911 in first from experience,

  33. Grab them by the puzzy says:

    no you ain’t!

    middle class fool

    Hillary’s Cankles are ground zero for Zika virus says:
    July 11, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    I am…..an upper middle class parent

  34. Hillary's Cankles are ground zero for Zika virus says:

    My mom was a stickler for food etiquette. No hats at the table. No one dare start eating until everyone is served. Understand the silverware and the glassware and even how to signal that you are ready to order or that you are finished. She knew one day that this would come in handy and it actually did, when I was interviewed over a very fancy meal at a country club in Morristown for the current gig I am still in. But I would still argue, this is not a barrier to entry. I would also posit, that if you are from a lower class and displayed a knowledge of etiquette, I would take you over some rich schlub who probably went to a rich b1tch camp and learned it there (which is truly pathetic). This goes back to my story of watching the EOF kids versus the Upward Bound kids during my Summers in college. The UB kids knew respect and etiquette. The EOF kids were derelicts on a free ride. What a waste of taxpayer dollars they were.

    I still think it comes down to parenting more than class and especially, discipline and good morals.

  35. Hillary's Cankles are ground zero for Zika virus says:

    Think what you will puzzy. Not that I care much for sharing whose jimbrowski is bigger, but I gurantee you my net worth is triple yours.

  36. 3b says:

    When we were growing up we had to eat at the kitchen table. Same thing with our kids. Unless I was late we all had dinner every night together at the table.

  37. 3b says:

    Stu and he fancies himself a progressive liberal.

  38. Hillary's Cankles are ground zero for Zika virus says:

    “Stu and he fancies himself a progressive liberal.”

    Ha ha. I really am. I just can’t stand the playbook. I don’t let marketing get the best of me and my wealth. I am so turned off by this climate change bullsh1t, Russian interference, who won’t shake Trump’s hand krap. What really matters is getting money out of government. Once that’s done, then there will be a new period of enlightenment. Will never happen in our lifetime though. At least not here.

  39. Hillary's Cankles are ground zero for Zika virus says:

    We still eat all meals together and always in the kitchen. You also can’t invite someone over to eat in front of them.

  40. Grab them by the puzzy says:

    Wikipedia says it. so i see why you are so delusional

    “Using the 15% figure one may conclude that the American upper middle class consists, strictly in an income sense, of professionals with personal incomes in excess of $62,500”

    Upper middle class in the United States – Wikipedia
    Wikipedia › wiki › Upper_middle_class_…

  41. Hillary's Cankles are ground zero for Zika virus says:

    Who cares what class I’m in? Should I feel guilty about it if I’m in the upper class? I certainly don’t. Perhaps you are simply jealous? Regardless of my income and salary, of which I finally received a raise yesterday (a whopping 1.5%), I have a decent amount of intelligence. Which sadly, is something you are sorely lacking.

  42. 3b says:

    Stu You are right. It won’t happen. And the liberal progressives refuse to acknowledge that Hillary was just as bad as Trump. As much as they like to say the trump voters got duped and voted for Trump against their own self interest the liberals by voting for Hillary did the exact same thing.

  43. dentss dunnigan says:

    #3 base …I know the property in Wanamassa you’re talking about …it’s in Monmouth county not Ocean ..

  44. 3b says:

    Dentss thanks . Understand that now as for where it’s located. I don’t have a property in mind yet. Just very preliminary at this point. I like the area and it’s still close to the ocean. It has real possibilities.

  45. Hillary's Cankles are ground zero for Zika virus says:

    3b…yup. The sooner the left realizes it, the sooner they’ll get back into power. Though, I’m not sure they will ever look under the cover of their anointed candidates to see how bad they really are. When I was in Reno, people thought Trump was doing god’s work. They are so relieved to have someone who at least CLAIMS to be worrying about their concerns. When I asked how Trump was helping them, they could only point to the unemployment rate. Which sadly, is really what matters most. I know it’s early, but based on the elections since the presidential and the left’s outright refusal to make any significant changes to their social causes over economics platform, I think Trump is easily looking at a second term. Oh those poor progressives are literally going to be jumping off bridges.

    “against their own self interest the liberals by voting for Hillary did the exact same thing.”

  46. Hillary's Cankles are ground zero for Zika virus says:

    Why retire in Jersey?

  47. 3b says:

    Stu Yes. So true. Just as ignorant and more so because they pat themselves on the back about how educated they are. But they are the flip side of the same coin. Dumb and dumber.

  48. 3b says:

    Stu we are not sure yet. Just exploring options. We had planing to go back to NYC at one time specifically to Manhattan but won’t pay those prices. Possibly lower westchester too. That’s still on the table. We just don’t hav a place that we truly want to move to like you do. And so we are exploring options.

  49. STEAMTurd says:


  50. Blue Ribbon Teacher says:

    I’d say you see similar types of behavior with Oysters. I was always amused by the rich’s obsession with filet. They only think it’s good because of the price. It’s the most flavorless piece of meat off the animal.

  51. The whitest guy says:

    BRT…I kind of agree, though it does tend to be a tender cut. I like the Porterhouse for the best of both worlds. I like the flavor of the NY Strip better and a thinner Filet Mignon. Though, a marinated skirt can be just as tasty as a strip if done right.

  52. Njescapee says:

    Remember: pinky out

  53. Grab them by the puzzy says:


    We gave the most important job on planet earth to our worst person and so far it has been going very poorly.

  54. The whitest guy says:

    “our worst person”

    Now that’s quite an unintelligent stretch!

  55. Grab them by the puzzy says:


    Saying “Trump is a poor man’s idea of a rich man” is seen as an insult to Trump’s taste, but it’s actually marketing.
    That’s his audience.

  56. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I heard Chelsea Clinton had a Black Russian, is that something?

  57. LurksMcGee says:


    I’m impressed with your comments today. Kinda re-framed my vision of the liberal millennial bunch.

  58. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Will tell you what class you belong to. I would think most of the participants on this blog are upper middle class.


  59. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Hope food etiquette doesn’t follow the current path of “white table” type establishments. I’m seeing less and less of this type of restaurant and I go out regularly. Also, seeing less of the formal attire in work and at high end restaurants. Think thats out right now, and instead focus is on “trendy/unique/cool.”

  60. The Great Pumpkin says:

    “Nothing important comes with instructions.”-James Richardson

  61. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    “Nothing important comes from Pumpkin.” – ExPat

  62. Nomad says:

    Anyone see the new commercial for the XC60. I’d like to smack the woman in the front seat. They used to make a nice car. Their recent commercials make me never want to buy one.

    On the political thing, its all basic market segmentation. They each have their silo of supporters to pander to with the sole idea of election or re-election but the lobbyists still get what they want. Same as it ever was.

  63. Fabius Maximus says:

    So there is nothing to this whole Russia thing?
    What I can’t understand is with the whole Whitehouse and Donnie Jr lawyering up, how he came out with this? I have to assume at some point his lawyers saw these emails and explained to him what he was looking at. Even if the NYT was publishing they would have told him to STFU. The only way this makes senses is if they are putting JR up for the fall.

    I said a while back that it will be the election law or the coverup that will bring this down.

    One of the best tweets of the day.
    Princess Leia:
    I never met any Rebels.
    I met the Rebels but they didn’t tell me anything.
    I lead the Rebellion & stole Death Star plans.

  64. Fabius Maximus says:

    I would have captioned this:
    “I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart.”

    Are we great yet Gary?

  65. Fabius Maximus says:

    The BBC came out with some awesome lines in its coverage.

    “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump”
    Trump Jr originally tweeted out the first three pages, leaving out page four, which has all the juiciest bits. It was like Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony without Ode to Joy or the 1812 Overture without the cannons.”

    Is this a smoking gun?
    What is a gun? What is smoke? Is anything real anymore? The media could discover a metaphorical .357 Magnum on the floor, still warm to the touch, and it would probably be dismissed by many as just another bit of fake news.

  66. Grim says:

    Interesting thought about setting up for a fall.

    I had the same thought but couldn’t comprehend that he would throw his kid under the bus.

  67. Fabius Maximus says:

    Grim, beside the veto pen is the pardon pen.
    Now Jr’s guilt in anything is not a slam dunk. If JR tried to buy weed and ended up with Oregano, he can’t be done for possession. That said. Daddy could draft a pardon tomorrow, that would take years in court to try to overturn. In the meantime a pardon could be sought from a future president.

    Last tweet goes to Colbert “I’m guessing Donald Jr. regrets hiring a lawyer from Trump University.”

  68. Fabius Maximus says:

    And despite the source, the content cant be ignored.

    The fires are burning.

  69. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I wonder if Democrats know they have never occupied a lower amount of national seast since the Civil War?

    Keep on doing what you’re doing, keep on getting what you’re getting;-)

  70. D-FENS says:

    People who love Trump still love Trump.

    People who hate Trump still hate Trump.

  71. Juice Box says:

    FAB – That Russian lawyer entered the country on an expired visa and was seen on the hill.
    What was she doing 8 days later hanging out with a literal obama adminstration official (u.s. ambassador to russia)?

  72. Grab them by the puzzy says:

    yes, one market segment will support Treason to get a tax cut, and the other market segment won’t

    Nomad says:
    July 11, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    On the political thing, its all basic market segmentation.

  73. nwnj3 says:

    Another day, another nothingburger. But it’s clearly captivated the moron block and has driven up traffic to NYT.

  74. nwnj3 says:

    And whoever talked of a demorcatic comeback hasn’t been paying attention. The past few decades of identity politics and divisiveness have come back to roost. That mostrosity is so dysfunctional when they show up to protest they instead fight among themselves. Jihadis and feminists can’t rally around the same platform? LMAO. Of course they need a distraction.

  75. grim says:

    Guess the cold war never ended.

  76. Fast Eddie says:

    The left has become the American ISIS.

  77. Grab them by the puzzy says:


    How far into the Trump presidency do you think he asked if a President can pardon himself?

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