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January 18, 2021

Detailed analysis of Opportunities in inspections (video)

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 1:17 pm

Here is a great video for Notaries from the NNA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CChtuxuHefs“>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CChtuxuHefs

Another video — Mark Wills of LSS interviews a very successful newbie making $12000 in a month? Is that even humanly possible? Apparently so!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j6yt62a2lE

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December 27, 2020

New Year’s Resolutions for Notaries for 2021

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 4:06 am

Every year I come back to this topic. Sometimes I address it in a humorous way, and other times in a serious way. Notaries often procrastinate some of their responsibilities. Your business will do better if you are a little more proactive in certain ways. Here are my tips for 2021.

Supplies
Stock up on supplies like paper, toner, ink, get that new GPS system if it will help you, pens, stamps, Fedex envelopes, and whatever else you need.

Snacks
Notaries have to eat on the road and that is not always healthy unless you live near a Whole Foods or a Jamba Juice. But, you can have packages of nuts and dried fruits in the car, and then bring fresh fruit on a daily basis. Dried fruits have a lot of nutrition. Apricots, dates, plums, dried mangos, raisins, and other dried fruits are packed with many micronutrients, minerals, vitamins, iron, and more!

Education
The newer Notaries seem to take education a lot more seriously. I noticed a change in collective attitude about six months ago. It seems that Mark Wills at LSS is a force of motivation and enthusiasm to be reckoned with. His students seem to be popular on our site too. His course seems to be oriented towards practical issues like dealing with some of the types of signings that became popular in the last few years (that were not popular during my day sonny.)

123notary has a paid certification course with a hard test. Our testing standards are the hardest in the industry and those who use our site are aware of that. We also have a very interesting FREE course on the blog which people love called Notary Public 101 and we test people who completed that test and sometimes certify them. Most people don’t study enough, but you can make that your New Year’s resolution and it will benefit you for the rest of your career.

Notes
Your Notary profile has a notes section. I just reviewed several hundred of our most prominent notes sections on the site. I am sorry to say that few did a bang up job writing about themselves. I think that putting in a lot of effort to try and figure out what to say about yourself will really pay off. Those who use our site want to read what you have to say about yourself, so if you say very little, they are less likely to call you first. It might take a few hours to read our section on the blog called, “Your notes section” while taking notes. It might take a few more hours to write a great notes section. But, that is what successful notaries so, so if you want to be successful, invest some time in it, especially during the holidays.

Reviews
It is the same suggestion every year. Our notaries seem to have less reviews than a few years ago. The very experienced Notaries got old or died off. Most of our Notaries are new which is refreshing, but they need to have reviews too. Anyone who compliments you on your work – ask them for a review and send them a link to your review page. The link is above your name on your profile.

Company Names
It pays off to have a good company name and register it with your county. We have written many articles on the topic. Please read those articles. It takes hours of brainstorming and conversations with others to pick a great name for your company. It is worth the effort in the long run.

Review your state notary laws
Some people look to Notary agencies for advice, but to know your local laws, please refer to your notary division’s website. Most states have a notary division under their Secretary of State, but some have it under another state office. Review those laws, because you might have a quandry one day if you are not rock solid on Notary laws and procedures.

Summary
I think I better think up my resolutions for this year. I want to be better at time management, lose lots of weight and learn Chinese better. Never mind becoming a millionaire — I’ll save that for 2022.

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October 29, 2020

What documents can I notarize?

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — admin @ 8:52 am

What documents should I NOT notarize? (better idea for a title)

This is written about frequently but it does require repetition given the penalties associated with it and the # of requests received for unauthorized notarizations.

WILLS – Unless prepared or directed by an attorney, wills are generally witnessed by two disinterested independent third parties.

VITAL DOCUMENTS – Birth and Death Certificates and Marriage Certificates. The Secretary of State has specific laws preventing public Notaries from notarizing vital documents primarily because the Notary cannot verify the validity or authenticity of such a document. In cases such as this, the Notary needs to refer the client over to the agency who issued the document which in many cases is the County Recorder.

INCOMPLETE DOCUMENTS – A notary should not complete any documents that are fully completed at the time of notarization.

DOCUMENTS WHERE NOTARY IS AWARE THERE IS FALSE INFORMATION IN THE DOCUMENT – If you overhear conversation between people talking about the false information contained in the document they are signing, don’t notarize it. If you suspect that the person signing appears to be overly nervous or if it looks like someone else with a beneficial interest is forcing the person to sign the document, don’t notarize it. Always remember that the signer must sign the document willingly and present proper identification and must be able to communicate with the notary.

PERSON SIGNING CANNOT UNDERSTAND THE LANGUAGE IN WHICH THE NOTARY IS SPEAKING. You cannot use an interpreter because you don’t know what is being translated and if the translator has an interest in the transaction. Do not confuse this with notarizing a document in a Foreign Language. You can always notarize a foreign language document and don’t need to speak that language as long as the person signing can communicate with you in English or another common language in which both the notary and the signer can communicate.

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April 13, 2020

Loan Signing Systems G/B/U?

Filed under: Popular on Facebook (A little),Signing Company Gossip — admin @ 9:14 am

Recently, I have seen that there are a lot more people getting certified by LSS or Loan Signing Systems run by Mark Wills. In the last few months, there seem to be many more graduates than ever before. In the old days, NNA used to be the only popular game for certification. Then the serious people came to 123notary from around 2005 to 2010. After that, Carol Ray at Notary2Pro became the most popular teacher / program for the serious students. Now, it seems that although National Notary Association sells the most courses, the more serious people seem to be following Mark.

So, what do they like about Mark? People say he is high energy, very helpful, and fast on the draw responding to questions. That is always good. At 123notary, we do not have a hotline as part of our program, but Carmen seems to do a lot of mentoring to our students. It seems to be that 1% of our customers monopolize Carmen’s time while the others don’t seek her help at all. Such a disbalance! 123notary is also there to help even though it isn’t formally part of any of our programs.

But, I wanted to see how an LSS certification affects your click average on 123notary. Would it help, hurt, or do nothing at all? I did a quick survey on several dozen listings of the same placement level and newness. Basically I found that based on my quick math, LSS graduates get about 3 or 4% more clicks from their 123notary than those in similar placements and experience without it. 123notary certification gets people more like 30% more clicks on our site at least. NNA certification neither helps nor hurts if you mention it in your notes.

So, we welcome LSS graduates to study from Notary Public 101 on our blog. It is free. Study hard and try to pass my over the phone test. I would like to see how you do.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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January 28, 2019

Can a Notary Act as a Witness?

Can a Notary act as a witness? Yes.
Can a notary be a witness? Yes.

However, there are many types if witnessing that a Notary could engage in.

1. Witnessing an Acknowledged signature
A notary could witness a signature as part of an Acknowledgment in certain states. Most states do not require the Notary to watch the signer sign for an Acknowledged signature, but six states do.

2. Witnessing as an official notary act
Witnessing is an official notarial act in a handful of states. Notaries can get paid a fixed maximum state mandated notary fee for witnessing a signature. Delaware Notary statutes allow this as an official act, other states do not.

3. Witnessing in their individual capacity
Witnessing a document signing as an unofficial act can be done by any person in sound mind who is eighteen years of age or older. However, many prefer to hire a Notary Public to do this in their capacity as an individual simply because people prefer to have a Notary deal with issues relating to signing documents. How much can a notary charge for being a witness? There is no set charge except perhaps in Delaware.

4. Witnessing a Will
Wills can be notarized, however, most Notaries are advised that it is not proper to notarize a will without written instructions from an Attorney. Living Wills are a different story as those function more similarly to a specialized medical power of attorney. Many people like to have a Notary be one of the two witnesses to a will signing. In Vermont I heard that they require three witnesses. For mafia signings regardless of what state it takes place in, they normally prefer — “no witnesses.”

5. Credible Witnesses / Credible Identifying Witnesses
A Notary cannot act as a credible witness if they are notarizing a document for someone. However, they can use the testimonies of one or two credible witnesses depending on the situation in most states. You can learn more about credible witnesses on our blog.

6. What is a subscribing witness?
Notaries typically use subscribing witnesses for Proof of Execution signings and Signature by X or Signature by Mark signings where the signer cannot sign their name. Subscribing means signing, so a subscribing witness is one who witnesses a person signing their name.

7. Which Notary act requires witnessing?
A Jurat requires the signer to sign in the physical presence of the Notary Public as well as swearing or affirming under Oath to the truthfulness of the content of the document in the presence of the Notary. The Notary Public should be watching when the signature is made.

8. Witnessing crimes
It is possible that a Notary might witness a crime during their work hours. It is possible they might observe someone being forced to sign under duress, or even someone being kidnapped. Notaries are often asked to go to jails to notarize criminals, but the criminal would not be in the act of a crime in jail — probably. Signers might ask the notary to falsify a date, and asking the notary to engage in fraud is a crime in itself in many states.

You might also like:

Credible Witnesses — the ins and outs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19634

Subscribing witnesses explained
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16707

Witnessing the intake forms in Notary Heaven
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8832

Types of witnesses in the Notary profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=5664

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October 16, 2018

A guide to notarizing documents with blanks or multiple signatures

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 1:04 am

Don’t notarize documents with blanks!!!
That’s the end to the guide!

Dealing with Blanks
However, the main thing to understand is that as a Notary, you have many responsibilities. You have to identify people, keep a journal, staple things together, give Oaths, fill out certificates. You are so busy, that you might not have time to scan a document for blanks. But, you need to scan every single page.

If you spot a blank, you can put a diagonal or horizontal line through it. The main thing is to make sure that no new information is added to the document after the notarization.

You can also refuse to notarize and make the signer or document custodian complete the document before submitting it to the Notary.

Notarizing Individual Pages (or not)
Additionally you cannot notarize particular pages of a document separate from the document. Sometimes a particular page needs to be fixed or changed in a document and you might get a request to notarize just that page. You simply notarize the entire document as a whole.

Multiple Signatures
However, sometimes you get a document such as a health directive which has multiple notarizations within a very long document. I have seen health directives or living wills with fifty or more pages. Sometimes at a notarization you are notarizing signatures in the middle of the document as well as at the end of the document when the certificate is at the end of the document. I have also seen cases where there are multiple signatures in the middle of a document and a certificate in the middle of the document. This is confusing. Affidavit of Support forms have Jurats in the middle of the form too, and not enough room for your stamp (dumb government workers.)

The 1003 is a great example of a document with an entire page intentionally left blank. But, that is a signed document, not a notarized document.

The main point of this quick article is to remind you that you have to scan documents for blanks.

You might also like:

Cross out and initial, or use a fresh form?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19933

Affirmations – pleasing the politically correct while offending all others
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19606

Five things a Notary must do
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19583

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June 22, 2018

How do you get a Power of Attorney Document?

I run a Notary directory, and people who hire Notaries often have Power of Attorney documents of various descriptions. It is important to understand that not all Power of Attorney documents were created equal and there are legal standards as well as preferences of the document custodians that need to be taken into consideration.

Legal Considerations
Legally, you probably need to consult an Attorney to figure out what rights to grant to another person (grantee) and under what circumstances and what legal language to grant such powers. I cannot assist with this because I am not an Attorney, and even if I were, I would probably not be practicing in your state.

Document Custodian Considerations
Document custodians are another party that you have to please with Powers of Attorney. A document custodian is the party that accepts your document. For example, if you get a POA for a particular bank, they will want a Banking Power of Attorney done their way which often means using their forms and not some form you got at a stationary store that looks equally good to you. The custodian has the right to choose what type of form they want in many instances.

Recording Documents
I am not an Attorney and do not know if/when/how/why Power of Attorney forms are recorded at your county’s county recorder. But, find out if you need to record it in their files ahead of time. There is normally a fee for this and it involves a visit to a government office, standing in line, not knowing what room to go to, etc.

Types of Powers of Attorney.
There are Medical Powers of Attorney, Durable Powers of Attorney where you can switch powers on an off sometimes, Banking Power of Attorney documents, and Limited Powers of Attorney as well. Living Wills are yet another specialized type of Medical Power of Attorney that deal specifically with what happens if the Grantor becomes incapacitated or is unable to make their own decisions while bedridden, etc.

Drafting of Documents
Normally, it is a good idea to consult with an Attorney before creating a Power of Attorney. Since it is a legal document, you cannot have any old person draft it for you. It should be an Attorney, or someone legally authorized to draft documents which rules out most Notary Public practitioners. Banks normally use their own forms, so ask the bank what form they require. Additionally, there are legal support firms who employ Legal Assistants, Paralegals, and a few who outsource low paying legal work to New Delhi where they do a very good job at a third of the cost. You can ask these types of agencies what they recommend and who is authorized to draft your document. Your best bet however, is an Attorney if you can afford it. Even if the Attorney doesn’t draft the document him/herself, at least he/she is supervising and taking responsibility for it which makes it potentially a lot safer for you to get a quality output.

Notarizing Documents
Any commissioned Notary Public can notarize your document in their state of commission. Please do not expect or ask the Notary to explain or understand any legal document. Non-Attorney Notaries may not give specific interpretations or explanations of documents other than general statements (in certain states) about what the document is generally about with no specifics mentioned. The Notary’s job is simply to check your ID, make sure you signed the document, the journal (required in most states, recommended by us in any state as that is your only written evidence of the notarial transaction), and fill out certificate forms that correspond to your document.

Legal Technical Terms
If you are creating a Power of Attorney, there is a lot of legalese which an Attorney can help you understand. The main terms are:

Grantor — the person giving power to another
Grantee — the person receiving special powers from the document
Agent — another name for the person who receives power and can complete tasks for the Grantor.
Principal — the main person signing the document who is the Grantor by definition.
Attorney in Fact — the most commonly used term for the agent / person receiving power of attorney.
Capacity — If you have special powers or a special position in a company, that can be described as a capacity. Being an Attorney in Fact or AIF is considered a capacity that can be indicated on certain Notary forms.

Signing in your capacity as Attorney in Fact.
There are eight ways that I have seen to sign as an Attorney in Fact. Please be advised that the particular verbiage is very particular and can be decided by an Attorney or document custodian. If they want it one way, and you sign with even one comma out of place, the entire document might be rejected and need to be resigned. Here are some common ways to sign, but ask your contact person before you sign anything, as the verbiage does matter.

John Smith, as Attorney in Fact for Sally Smith
Sally Smith, by John Smith, her Attorney in Fact
John Smith, POA for Sally Smith
John Smith, AIF for Sally Smith

Summary
In some of these variations, the signer signs the name of the other person (which I am not comfortable with) and then describes their capacity. In other variations, you sign your own name, and then indicate your capacity after a comma after your name. As always, I cannot and will not give legal advice, so, ask an Attorney before you have a Power of Attorney drafted, and before you sign the document and before you sign in your capacity as Attorney in Fact.

If you need a Mobile Notary Public, visit the advanced search page of 123notary.com and lookup by zip, city or county and find about 7000 Notaries Public nationwide, many of whom are very knowledgeable and experienced.

Good luck!

.

You might also like:

Index of posts about Power of Attorney
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20255

Power of Attorney of the Future
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18948

Logic errors can cost you as a notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20110

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April 4, 2018

Documents you need to understand for Elite Certification

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 11:50 am

I published a study guide for our Elite Certification. There are a handful of documents you need to understand and be able to answer questions about. Here they are.

Recorded Documents
How many recorded documents can you name? I can think of a few…

Grant Deeds
Quit Claim Deeds
Warranty Deeds
Deed of Trust / Mortgage
Subordination Agreement
Riders to Deeds
Power of Attorney (not sure about this one)
Deed of Reconveyence
Tax Liens
Wills
Deed in Lieu
Assignments of a Deed of Trust
Declaration of Homestead
Rescission of Notice of Default.
Substitution of Trustee

Riders
How many riders can you name? I can think of these ones
Prepayment Rider
Family Rider
Condominium Rider
Rider to Mortgage
Rider to the Note
Adjustable Rate Riders
Co-op Rider

Subordination Agreement
The subordination agreement creates a pecking order for which lender gets paid first should there be a default.

Owner’s Affidavit
This document discusses many aspects of ownership and often addresses whether the owner will reside in the property as well as whether or not the owner has conducted particular maintenance tasks on the property.

Deed of Reconveyance
The main point we want you to know about this document is that it deals with Trustees, and the Lender is most commonly the one who signs this document as a Trustee, although in theory it could be any party.

Deed of Trust
You need to know the Deed of Trust intimately to pass the Elite Test. Please study this on your own.

CD & HUD-1
You need to be able to recite many particular points about these documents to pass the Elite Test. Please study on your own.

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You might also like:

Index of information about Documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20258

Elite certification will benefit you for the rest of your life
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20770

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August 27, 2017

How many journal entries do you use for two signers on three documents?

Filed under: Journals — Tags: , — admin @ 11:51 pm

Many states don’t require a journal. However, your journal is your only evidence if you are investigated. As a Notary, for every 3000 Notary appointments (not acts) you do, you will probably be investigated once based on my personal experience. If fraud is involved on anybody’s part and you don’t have a journal entry, you will have no evidence and could be pulled into court for weeks which would result in your loss of income.

Additionally, we recommend the use of thumbprints in your journal for all critical notarizations, especially those involving Power of Attorney documents Living Wills, or Deeds affecting real estate. It only takes a few seconds to thumbprint someone. A thumbprint cannot be faked, but ID can, so you have no reason not to take thumbprints, and plenty of security related reasons to do so. NNA sells inkless thumbprinters for about $15.

If your state doesn’t require journals, use one anyway for your protection.

Back to the question. If there are TWO signers and THREE documents, you will need SIX journal entries. One per document per signer. What some Notaries do is they create one journal entry per signer and then indicate a list of all the notarized documents they signed. This is wrong and perhaps illegal. Not only is it bad to only create one journal entry per signer, but you might forget to add a document, or if there are cross outs after the fact it will look very sketchy.

However, you don’t need to write all of the info for each journal entry. The signer’s name, address, and ID information can be copied by putting a down arrow or “ditto” quotation marks. However, legally, the signer needs to sign for each document that is notarized and the name of the document, date, time, and type of notary act needs to be indicated for each document.

Additionally, there is an “additional notes” section of each journal entry near the right. If the building looks unusual you can take notes about the building. If the signer is acting weird or looks weird or has a tattoo on his neck or anything else unusual, you should write that in your journal to jog your memory if you ever have to go to court.

I did about 7000 Notary appointments and they all became a blurr to me. The only people I remember were Gary, the guy who blew up his apartment while experimenting with explosives (not a good idea) and a Korean lady who had me notarize the sales of her massage parlors (she paid cash). I also remember Dr. Kwak (pronounced Dr. Quack) who was an acupuncturist. I vaguely remember an impatient rich guy who lived in West Hollywood, did business deals in his pajamas, and played golf. And of course Mr. Yee the Attorney who had me do all of the Health Care Directives each with 80 pages of which I embossed every single page every single time to be prudent.

So, the moral of the story is that if you don’t know how to use your journal like a pro, the NNA has tutorials that you can purchase, and they are highly recommended as they could keep you out of court (or jail.) Or both!

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You might also like:

What entities might want to see your journal?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20902

NNA – what every notary needs to know about notary journals
https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2014/10/what-every-notary-needs-to-know-about-journals

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December 22, 2016

How do I get a notarized Power of Attorney?

How do I get a notarized Power of Attorney?

It is common to need a Notarized Power of Attorney. The issue is that many people don’t know where to go for help. You need to either find a Power of Attorney form, or have a customized one drafted by a law firm. But, be careful. If you have the wrong Power of Attorney form, it might not be acceptable to whomever the custodian of the document is, or to the courts. I am not an Attorney and can’t advise you, but I suggest you first talk to the agency you are submitting the Power of Attorney to and see what their requirements are. After that, talk to an Attorney.

Step 1. Check with the Document Custodian

Many banks want customers to use their own Power of Attorney for Banking document to be used. This Banking Power of Attorney is sometimes not on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper. I have seen them printed on card stock in such a way where there is not enough room for a Notary seal. Banks often insist that the Notary seal is on the actual document and won’t accept Attorney written documents. So, talk to the entity you are submitting the Power of Attorney for before doing anything else.

Step 2. Draft your Power of Attorney

If necessary, get your Power of Attorney drafted by an Attorney or someone who your Attorney recommends.
If you use a standardized form from an office supply store, make sure you get it all filled out before calling the notary.
You will need to have an Attorney in Fact (Agent or Grantee,) a Grantor, and you need to specify what powers you are granting, and for how long, and under what conditions. It’s complicated and critical, which is why you need an Attorney at $200-$400 per hour!

Step 3. Find a Notary on 123notary.com!
Any notary can notarize a Power of Attorney. They can also notarize a Durable Power of Attorney, or notarize a Health Care Power of Attorney. Certain states even allow the Notary to make certified copies of a Power of Attorney. 123notary offers a wide selection of mobile notaries who can come to your home, office, hospital room, or jail cell and get your Power of Attorney notarized. Make sure you have current photo-ID issued by government agency.

Step 4. Submit your Notarized Power of Attorney
Once your POA is notarized, you might need to submit it to a particular party, or have it registered at some government office. Ask your Attorney what to do. Keep in mind that banks often have their own forms for Banking Power of Attorney which are often very simplified forms on card stock which would be significantly below the standards of an Attorney. But, if it is for their bank, they have the right to request any type of form they like. Just make sure your Attorney doesn’t object too terribly much. It’s complicated! Be prudent and consult the right people and Attorney before making your decision what to do.

Types of Powers of Attorney

Health care Power of Attorney documents which are often called health directives, medical power of attorney forms or living wills. These are normally very long documents written by an Attorney who specializes in these matters. These types of documents often specify what to do if the Grantor becomes mentally incapacitated, or have to be put on life support.

Limited Power of Attorney documents which grant authority to the grantee to perform certain actions on behalf of the Grantor.

Durable Power of Attorney documents which could stay valid even after the Grantor becomes mentally incompetent (ask an Attorney for details.)

General Power of Attorney — gives broad authorizations to the agent

Special Power of Attorney — gives specific and special powers and authorizations to the agent

Final Note
Don’t ask legal questions to Notaries or other non-Attorneys. First of all, Notaries are not trained to answer legal questions. Secondly, they are not allowed by law to answer legal questions. Get your legal questions out of the way with your Attorney before you make your initial call to the notary. Nothing is worse than keeping a notary on hold while you resolve issues that a responsible person would have resolved long before they called in a notary! Also, Notaries are not normally authorized to draft legal documents, so find someone who is legally authorized to draft legal documents which is normally someone who works as an Attorney or perhaps in the legal field.

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You might also like:

Index of posts about Power of Attorney
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20255

Logic errors can cost you as a notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20110

Index of information about documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20258

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