Another diminished value thread...(Need Advice)

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May 6, 2020
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Hi Guys, I am new to this forum and I have been searching through all posts about diminished value, but still not 100% understand the current situation.
I am a fresh graduate, and I really need some advice from you guys. Thank you guys first!

I rented a car with the Economy Rent a Car in January 2020 and went into a car accident. It was my fault.

I have my father's primary insurance, Geico, paid the loss of physical damage to the person that I caused the collision. Since that person also used Geico, so Geico has settled that very quickly. Then, I also filed my claim to my credit card company, Chase, and thought they will be paying everything.

However, I received a bill from Purco Fleet saying that I need to pay the diminished value of the car. Below is the bill:

Physical Damage: $4,194.99
Loss of Use: $129.15
Admin Fee: $100.00
DV Appraisal Fee: $45.00
Diminution of Value: $2,728.69
Payments (I guess is from VISA): ($3,329.21)
Total Owe: 3868.62

At this point, Chase told me that they do not cover diminished value. More importantly, I still don't know the current situation.

Isn't Chase supposed to be covered up all the physical damage cost?
Does my primary insurance be able to pay the diminution of value of the car I rent?

My father's primary insurance is a full coverage policy, which includes the loss of the person that I caused the Collison and my father's car repair fee.

I am so worried right now because I told my father that everything will get settle. But now, it seems much complicated than I thought.
If anyone can give me some advice about my situation, I am truly sincerely appreciated!
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
831
1,317
93
St. Louis
Have you reviewed the Guide to Benefits for your credit card, as it should detail what they cover? For example, my Chase card provides for the following:

The Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver covers theft,​
damage, valid loss-of-use charges imposed and substantiated by​
the auto rental company, administrative fees, and reasonable and​
customary towing charges (due to a covered theft or damage)​
to the nearest qualified repair facility. The Auto Rental Collision​
Damage Waiver covers no other type of loss.​

Diminished value claim is based on the rental term agreement and what is permitted by State law. You may want to talk to your insurance company to see if they will provide any coverage of this.

Otherwise, I recommend reviewing the following thread and trying to negotiate with the company to reduce or drop the claim.

 
May 6, 2020
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Have you reviewed the Guide to Benefits for your credit card, as it should detail what they cover? For example, my Chase card provides for the following:

The Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver covers theft,​
damage, valid loss-of-use charges imposed and substantiated by​
the auto rental company, administrative fees, and reasonable and​
customary towing charges (due to a covered theft or damage)​
to the nearest qualified repair facility. The Auto Rental Collision​
Damage Waiver covers no other type of loss.​

Diminished value claim is based on the rental term agreement and what is permitted by State law. You may want to talk to your insurance company to see if they will provide any coverage of this.

Otherwise, I recommend reviewing the following thread and trying to negotiate with the company to reduce or drop the claim.

Hi Dwayne, Thank you so much for your reply.

Yes, I have double-checked my Chase card, which stated that "depreciation of the Rental Vehicle caused by the incident including, but not limited to, “diminished value” is excluded under the "What are the exclusions for this benefit?" section.

I am from New York State, so I assume Geico policy follows New York State Law? But the car accident happened in Florida and Geico seems to not apply that in Florida State.

I will give a call to Geico to see if they can cover this, but not much hope I think, and I do not want my father to know this is happening to me.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
22,882
22,843
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
If your insurance company won’t pay this, your only option is to try to negotiate the price down. We have had some consumers who have been successful in getting that number down. Deal with the rental company, not Purco, as the post Dwayne directed you to says.
 
Sep 9, 2018
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I just want to say that I appreciate how forthcoming you are and how you are willing to take responsibility for the accident. That's a great attitude! :) I am hoping that the rental company will negotiate with you since you are trying to do the right thing. Best of luck and keep us posted!!
 
May 6, 2020
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Hi Guys,

Thank you all who had replied to me. Sorry for the late reply as well due to the school and recent chaos.

I sent multiple emails to Chase VISA asking them to cover the rest of the costs. Even though they didn't reply to me but they did contact Purco and willing to pay the rest except the Diminution of Value.

Now Purco told me that I need to pay $2,728.69 for the diminished value. However, the person who handles my case can accept $2,000 if I can pay it at one time.

Do you guys think this is a good deal to take? Or I can further lower this amount by negotiating with the person? I told her that I am a student and unable to find an internship due to the pandemic, which are facts at this moment. I would need to borrow money from my friends to pay for this amount. If I tell my parent this they will go crazy on me. Since I am a grown man I will take this at full responsibility.

Thank you all for your advice again!
 
Jun 12, 2019
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I don't know where the derive their diminished value figure, they may be going by a percentage. They have to prove that because of the accident and subsequent repairs, the value of the vehicle has gone down. If they sold the vehicle after the accident and took a lesser value due to the repairs on this accident, then that difference could be considered the DV. Other that showing up on Carfax or similar services, The buyer would not know about the accident unless the seller disclosed that information. Heavy frame damage, total losses and flooding are most likely to show up on those reports.

I prepare demand for payments for my work and I usually include loss of use and a admin fee. We do have some vehicles in the 100k+ range but it would be too much work for me to try to include a DV claim as I need to provide proof that the value has gone down. Do I spend money on an appraiser, typically in the hundreds of dollars, to appraise the value after a loss? The takeaway is that they would have to prove this amount, either to your satisfaction or to a judge. If you are willing to get sued and spend your time in small claims, then fight it. At the minimum, I would ask where they got the DV amount and demand that they provide an appraisal or other hard evidence to back up that figure. You may want to run this by your insurance adjuster when they do provide the documentation to get an idea if it was legitimate. When I worked as an insurance adjuster, I had access to Carfax service as well as ISO (Insurance claims history). If your vehicle does not show up on any of these reports, you would have a bargaining chip to negotiate the DV in your favor.
 
May 6, 2020
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I don't know where the derive their diminished value figure, they may be going by a percentage. They have to prove that because of the accident and subsequent repairs, the value of the vehicle has gone down. If they sold the vehicle after the accident and took a lesser value due to the repairs on this accident, then that difference could be considered the DV. Other that showing up on Carfax or similar services, The buyer would not know about the accident unless the seller disclosed that information. Heavy frame damage, total losses and flooding are most likely to show up on those reports.

I prepare demand for payments for my work and I usually include loss of use and a admin fee. We do have some vehicles in the 100k+ range but it would be too much work for me to try to include a DV claim as I need to provide proof that the value has gone down. Do I spend money on an appraiser, typically in the hundreds of dollars, to appraise the value after a loss? The takeaway is that they would have to prove this amount, either to your satisfaction or to a judge. If you are willing to get sued and spend your time in small claims, then fight it. At the minimum, I would ask where they got the DV amount and demand that they provide an appraisal or other hard evidence to back up that figure. You may want to run this by your insurance adjuster when they do provide the documentation to get an idea if it was legitimate. When I worked as an insurance adjuster, I had access to Carfax service as well as ISO (Insurance claims history). If your vehicle does not show up on any of these reports, you would have a bargaining chip to negotiate the DV in your favor.
Hi Calihankl,

Thank you so much for your reply! I am thinking to buy a report from Carfax as well. Does Carfax show the report if they sell the car? If they did sell the car as the expected market price then I may able to negotiate with Purco. Do you think I should purchase the report?

Again, thank you for your reply!
 
Jun 12, 2019
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Hi Calihankl,

Thank you so much for your reply! I am thinking to buy a report from Carfax as well. Does Carfax show the report if they sell the car? If they did sell the car as the expected market price then I may able to negotiate with Purco. Do you think I should purchase the report?

Again, thank you for your reply!
Since you are the person paying for damages, it is up to them to give you the supports for their damages. They will need to convince you or a judge that the damages claimed are legitimate. Always keep this in mind when you speak to Purco.
Admin fee? Show me where you can charge this in the rental contract.
Loss of use? https://www.mwl-law.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/LOSS-OF-USE-IN-ALL-50-STATES.pdf
Diminished value? Show me a valuation or hard evidence that the vehicle's value is lowered.

You can search the VIN for free here:

https://www.carsforsale.com/free-vehicle-history-reports You will need to sign up with a email but it will show you if there vehicle that was involved in an accident.

At the end of the day, you did cause damage to their vehicle, the vehicle was out of service and they could not rent the vehicle out while it was repaired. There was also costs associated to address the situation. These costs would not have been incurred because of the accident. The reason your insurance company did not pay all the cost is that your contract with them excludes these costs. With that in mind, you can acknowledge all of this but insist that you want to pay what is reasonable and you are just asking how they figured out the amount. Maybe with the approach, they will go even lower than the 2k they are asking for. Good Luck.
 
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May 6, 2020
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Since you are the person paying for damages, it is up to them to give you the supports for their damages. They will need to convince you or a judge that the damages claimed are legitimate. Always keep this in mind when you speak to Purco.
Admin fee? Show me where you can charge this in the rental contract.
Loss of use? https://www.mwl-law.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/LOSS-OF-USE-IN-ALL-50-STATES.pdf
Diminished value? Show me a valuation or hard evidence that the vehicle's value is lowered.

You can search the VIN for free here:

https://www.carsforsale.com/free-vehicle-history-reports You will need to sign up with a email but it will show you if there vehicle that was involved in an accident.

At the end of the day, you did cause damage to their vehicle, the vehicle was out of service and they could not rent the vehicle out while it was repaired. There was also costs associated to address the situation. These costs would not have been incurred because of the accident. The reason your insurance company did not pay all the cost is that your contract with them excludes these costs. With that in mind, you can acknowledge all of this but insist that you want to pay what is reasonable and you are just asking how they figured out the amount. Maybe with the approach, they will go even lower than the 2k they are asking for. Good Luck.
Hi Calihankl,

Your reply is very useful to me, much appreciated! I used CarsForSale (the link you provided), but no record was found for VIN Number: XXXXXXXX

CarFax shows there are 4 history records. Should I spend $40 dollars to buy the report? If CarFax able to show they sold the car and the value didn't get lower at all, I may able to get away from it (A thread showed this happened before). I never used CarFax before, so I am afraid that I will waste $40 dollars buying a useless report.

Would you mind letting me know is it worth buying? You are the one that I can trust at this point, so if you think I should give a try I will go for it no matter how the end result is. Again, thank you so much for your help and advice.


Edited to remove VIN number
 
Jun 12, 2019
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I personally would not spend my money on the Carfax. The burden is on them to prove the damages. If they don't provide that proof, how are you supposed to know if the claim is legitimate. This is the first question I would ask. How did you determine the diminished value? Then make them show you the documentation. Let them know that if it was the other way around, they would be asking the same.
 
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May 6, 2020
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I personally would not spend my money on the Carfax. The burden is on them to prove the damages. If they don't provide that proof, how are you supposed to know if the claim is legitimate. This is the first question I would ask. How did you determine the diminished value? Then make them show you the documentation. Let them know that if it was the other way around, they would be asking the same.
It is a scam but it is legit. They sent me a report saying the market value of the car is $16,729.50 assuming the car will be selling at the outstanding condition.

However, a thread says that it is impossible for a rental car to have an outstanding condition when it gets sold, and should not be evaluated in that way. Unfortunately, the moment when I rent the car, it is under perfect condition because it just has 2000 mileage. Either Economy Rent A Car (the rental car company) already sold the car to Purco, or Purco is playing a trick there assumes the moment they sell the car will be under perfect condition. They use this standard to get money from victims like me.

There is a thread (a case) showed that if they sold the car, and no value lost, then this diminished values is a total BS. The problem I am having right now is my insurance no longer take care of my case, and there is no resource I can use to prove that they sold the car. If they haven't sold the car, then I still responsible for the loss of the value.

Now, the person agrees to lower that amount to $1,865.78, which still a lot for me as a student.
 
May 6, 2020
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They even claimed that they lowered the diminished value for me from $2,728.69 to $1500.00.

The 365.78 is the shorted the damage that Geico didn't pay. I have no clue what this statement stands for because Geico is not part of this. I believe Geico only responsible for the car (the person) got hit from me, and my VISA responsible for my rental car. I never file a claim to Geico because I am afraid that my parents will find out that Geico is not going responsible for this kind of claim, and they found out that I need to pay near $1900 out of my pockets.
 
Jun 12, 2019
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You are on the right track with saying that the condition of the vehicle in the market report is unreasonable. They should rate the vehicle at typical or maybe one category above typical, unless they can show that the parts that usually depreciates (Tires, Engine,transmission,Battery) were recently replaced. The more expensive option would be to hire your own appraiser but they are under no obligation to allow your appraiser to inspect the vehicle. The best thing the appraiser can do is to conduct a desktop review of the valuation and there is no guarantees that the rental company will accept the findings. The advantage of the appraiser is if you are sued, you have something that would dispute the value. You can also use the findings to negotiate a settlement as going to secure a judgement is costly and the possibility of not prevailing.

Depending on how your credit card benefits are paid, they could be primary or excess. This pertains to the first party coverage (Comp/Collision) If they are primary, the credit card would take care of everything first and your insurance company would kick in for the damages not paid. Then your insurance company would look at what was not paid and pay for items that they owe minus any deductible. If your insurance company is primary, then they adjust the claim and pay for what they owe and your credit card company would see what was not paid and pay for the damages per the agreement. Things such as admin fees, loss of use and Diminished is likely excluded from GEICO. Looking at a MasterCard coverage (https://www.mastercard.us/content/d...terRental-PurchaseAssurance-Travel-012715.pdf) Admin and DV are still excluded but loss of use is paid up to $500.00. Reading this document, coverage is excess to any other insurance coverage.

Your GEICO policy may have paid for some of the damages regardless of you filing a claim. Anyone is allowed to file a claim against your policy and it is up to the adjuster investigate the claim. The rental agreement may be all the documentation that adjuster needs and may have not contacted you. Even if you don't have comp/collision on your own car, GEICO may provide the broadest coverage. This means that if your car is on your parents policy and they have comp/collision on a vehicle in that policy, comp/collision may extend to the rental. GEICO should of still tried to contact you before extending coverage, I would check with them.

It looks like questioning everything is helping and I would question some more. They might be counting on you to be fearful and easily intimidated or just go to your parents and ask them to bail you out. You came here for the tools to self advocate and I say it is working. Once you reach an amount that is agreeable, mention that you are a student and would like to make payments. They might even go lower if you can pay a lump sum. Make sure you get all of this in writing and make sure they don't put you on a do not rent list. Good Luck.
 
May 6, 2020
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You are on the right track with saying that the condition of the vehicle in the market report is unreasonable. They should rate the vehicle at typical or maybe one category above typical, unless they can show that the parts that usually depreciates (Tires, Engine,transmission,Battery) were recently replaced. The more expensive option would be to hire your own appraiser but they are under no obligation to allow your appraiser to inspect the vehicle. The best thing the appraiser can do is to conduct a desktop review of the valuation and there is no guarantees that the rental company will accept the findings. The advantage of the appraiser is if you are sued, you have something that would dispute the value. You can also use the findings to negotiate a settlement as going to secure a judgement is costly and the possibility of not prevailing.

Depending on how your credit card benefits are paid, they could be primary or excess. This pertains to the first party coverage (Comp/Collision) If they are primary, the credit card would take care of everything first and your insurance company would kick in for the damages not paid. Then your insurance company would look at what was not paid and pay for items that they owe minus any deductible. If your insurance company is primary, then they adjust the claim and pay for what they owe and your credit card company would see what was not paid and pay for the damages per the agreement. Things such as admin fees, loss of use and Diminished is likely excluded from GEICO. Looking at a MasterCard coverage (https://www.mastercard.us/content/dam/mccom/en-us/documents/Cardholder Benefits/GTB_CRED-8-MasterRental-PurchaseAssurance-Travel-012715.pdf) Admin and DV are still excluded but loss of use is paid up to $500.00. Reading this document, coverage is excess to any other insurance coverage.

Your GEICO policy may have paid for some of the damages regardless of you filing a claim. Anyone is allowed to file a claim against your policy and it is up to the adjuster investigate the claim. The rental agreement may be all the documentation that adjuster needs and may have not contacted you. Even if you don't have comp/collision on your own car, GEICO may provide the broadest coverage. This means that if your car is on your parents policy and they have comp/collision on a vehicle in that policy, comp/collision may extend to the rental. GEICO should of still tried to contact you before extending coverage, I would check with them.

It looks like questioning everything is helping and I would question some more. They might be counting on you to be fearful and easily intimidated or just go to your parents and ask them to bail you out. You came here for the tools to self advocate and I say it is working. Once you reach an amount that is agreeable, mention that you are a student and would like to make payments. They might even go lower if you can pay a lump sum. Make sure you get all of this in writing and make sure they don't put you on a do not rent list. Good Luck.
Hi calihankl,

Thank you for your kindness. I sent my last email to Purco which requesting the total cost of this case to lower down to $1600, which all the money I have at this moment. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find more threads regarding how to handle such ridiculous charges. Some able to let their insurance company get involve and get rid of the charge, while some didn't post updates of the final result. I was able to find one more victim from the Internet, she told me that Purco asked the same charge too, but good luck is her rental car went into a total loss (repair cost greater than the actual car value), so the company decides not to repair the car. Eventually, she paid Purco a few hundred bucks for other ridiculous fees including admin fee.

I am losing sleep these days and hoping this can end as soon as possible. Let's see if they accept my final offer.
 
May 6, 2020
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You are on the right track with saying that the condition of the vehicle in the market report is unreasonable. They should rate the vehicle at typical or maybe one category above typical, unless they can show that the parts that usually depreciates (Tires, Engine,transmission,Battery) were recently replaced. The more expensive option would be to hire your own appraiser but they are under no obligation to allow your appraiser to inspect the vehicle. The best thing the appraiser can do is to conduct a desktop review of the valuation and there is no guarantees that the rental company will accept the findings. The advantage of the appraiser is if you are sued, you have something that would dispute the value. You can also use the findings to negotiate a settlement as going to secure a judgement is costly and the possibility of not prevailing.

Depending on how your credit card benefits are paid, they could be primary or excess. This pertains to the first party coverage (Comp/Collision) If they are primary, the credit card would take care of everything first and your insurance company would kick in for the damages not paid. Then your insurance company would look at what was not paid and pay for items that they owe minus any deductible. If your insurance company is primary, then they adjust the claim and pay for what they owe and your credit card company would see what was not paid and pay for the damages per the agreement. Things such as admin fees, loss of use and Diminished is likely excluded from GEICO. Looking at a MasterCard coverage (https://www.mastercard.us/content/dam/mccom/en-us/documents/Cardholder Benefits/GTB_CRED-8-MasterRental-PurchaseAssurance-Travel-012715.pdf) Admin and DV are still excluded but loss of use is paid up to $500.00. Reading this document, coverage is excess to any other insurance coverage.

Your GEICO policy may have paid for some of the damages regardless of you filing a claim. Anyone is allowed to file a claim against your policy and it is up to the adjuster investigate the claim. The rental agreement may be all the documentation that adjuster needs and may have not contacted you. Even if you don't have comp/collision on your own car, GEICO may provide the broadest coverage. This means that if your car is on your parents policy and they have comp/collision on a vehicle in that policy, comp/collision may extend to the rental. GEICO should of still tried to contact you before extending coverage, I would check with them.

It looks like questioning everything is helping and I would question some more. They might be counting on you to be fearful and easily intimidated or just go to your parents and ask them to bail you out. You came here for the tools to self advocate and I say it is working. Once you reach an amount that is agreeable, mention that you are a student and would like to make payments. They might even go lower if you can pay a lump sum. Make sure you get all of this in writing and make sure they don't put you on a do not rent list. Good Luck.
Hi calihankl,

The person just told me to pay $1600 and she will email me back in the middle of July. Not sure what is going on, but the person seems busy at this moment.

I told her to send me the final invoice and proper document that after I paid this amount I am no longer responsible for the liability of the loss.

Otherwise, I feel scared that after I paid $1600 they still can argue for more.
 
Jun 12, 2019
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Hi calihankl,

The person just told me to pay $1600 and she will email me back in the middle of July. Not sure what is going on, but the person seems busy at this moment.

I told her to send me the final invoice and proper document that after I paid this amount I am no longer responsible for the liability of the loss.

Otherwise, I feel scared that after I paid $1600 they still can argue for more.
You should not pay until you get confirmation that if you pay $1600.00 by x date, the demand will be paid in full. It needs to be in writing. This is what you will show if they attempt to ask for more. In a perfect world, you should have them sign a release but I doubt they will do that.
 
May 6, 2020
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You should not pay until you get confirmation that if you pay $1600.00 by x date, the demand will be paid in full. It needs to be in writing. This is what you will show if they attempt to ask for more. In a perfect world, you should have them sign a release but I doubt they will do that.
You are so right! I asked the person yesterday now the person starting throwing me the number saying that the total claim settlement is 2,639.93. Saying that my claim payment needs to be 1,865.78, with the Visa release of 774.15. I have no idea that means, does that mean I need to pay 2,639.93?

That is a complete scam! I will send another email for justification.
 
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Again, how did they calculate the 2,639.93? Your request for documentation is totally reasonable and you should continue to insist them to provide something in writing on how they calculate all of the damages, minus any insurance payments. This is what you wrote as the breakdown of the damages:

The entire repair estimate/invoice (with details) $4,194.99
photos of the damaged vehicle
Loss of use - $129.15 this is nominal but did they actually incur the loss of use or are they calculating based off of statue/repair hours?
Admin Fee- $100 is nominal and not out of line
Diminution of Value: $2,728.69 Kind of high for a 4.2k repair. How did they get this information.
DV Appraisal fee-$45.00 Since they are charging you for this, where is the DV Report?
Payments (I guess is from VISA): ($3,329.21) -Don't guess. Ask who made the payment and do some additional research. Why did VISA not pay $4,194.99? (You will need to call) If it is GEICO, Why was the amount not paid minus the deductible? (You need to call). The difference is $865.78.

The math is just not adding up. They are asking for $1,865.78, which happens to be 1k + the difference between the the estimate and what the insurance company paid. Do you have a 1k deductible by any chance with GEICO? The Visa release of $774.15 happens to be the Loss of Use+Admin Fee+DV Appraisal fee +$500.00. You will need to sort this out before speaking with PURCO again.

Continue to ask for this documentation in good faith. You are trying to make sure you pay for every penny you owe that you agreed in the rental agreement. Take a look at the rental agreement to find out where you are obligated to pay for these charges. If push comes to shove, see if there is an arbitration agreement and ask to invoke that clause. You can also mention to the person that you previously agreed to pay $1600.00 to settle all claims and counting the VISA release of $774.15, you are willing to pay an additional $825.85 today if you can get this in writing. Maybe offer a check payment so they can't try to take more.

Good Luck.
 
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