jethro

Need help with Response to Validation

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Hi all,

Sent a validation letter to a medical collector (Gold Key Credit) in regards to about 9 medical collections they are reporting to the CRA's. I received the response below about four days later. It brings up serious questions in my mind about the damands requested in the sample validation letters. According to this response and the laws and cases cited it sounds like a computer print out with the name and address of the original creditor is proper validation. I have never seen any mention that the collector is required to provide copies of the original contract which bears my signature, or any agreement the creditor has with the OC. Hope I'm wrong about this and somone can point out something that backs up the demands in the sample validation letters. Well here is the response i received.

Dear Jethro,

I am in reciept of your letter dated April 12, 2004 and post marked April 12, 2004 regarding the matter above refrenced.

I have enclosed for your review a copy of the itemized bills for your account together with a copy of 15 U.S.C. 1692g. Contrary to the generalizations contained in you correspondence, there are no provisions that we disclose proprietary information to you. The itmeized bills provided meets the requirements of validation as outlined in the language contained in the aforementioned statute. This is also supported in the findings of the U.S. District Court is Stoneheart v. Rosenthal, No. 1 Civ. 652 (SAS), 2001 WL 910771 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 13, 2001):

"An account statement which consisted of a computer printout listing services provided, the dates on which the charges were incurred and the amounts debts incurred for each date of service, adequately met the requirements of 809(B) of the FDCPA."

You have been provided an identical copy of the information furnished us by our client and the original provider. We are not required to prove the legitimacy of our relationship with out client, only the legitimacy of the debt owed. Furthermore, verification does not entail providing copies of signed documents/contracts as such documents do not provide an adequate accounting of a debt as is required by the statute.

This debt having been properly validated is considered a due and owing collection debt as reported to credit reporting agencies. Any further dispute will be considered frivilous in accordance with 15 U.S.C. 1681i(a)(3)(A), which states:

(3) Determination that dispute is frivolous or irrelevent

(A)In general

Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a consumer reporting agency may terminate a reinvestigation of information disputed by a consumer under that paragraph if the agency reasonably determines that the dispute by the consumer is frivolous or irrelevant, including by reason of a failure by a consumer to provide sufficient information to investigate the disputed information.

Your promt attention to this matter is required. Please contact me at the number above ext. 103 if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, until then i remain,

Sincerly

Risk Manager

Well what gives. :?: Have they validated this debt? They sent me statements on their letterhead with details of the dates and amounts for services rendered with the name and address of the original OC. It sounds like this is all that is required for proper validation?

Thanks in advance for any help,

Jethro

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First of all, the FCRA defines a "consumer reporting agency" as the following:

Title 15 Chapter 41 Section 1681a

paragraph (f)

The term ''consumer reporting agency'' means any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports.

By definition, they are NOT a "consumer reporting agency."

Secondly;

This is also supported in the findings of the U.S. District Court is Stoneheart v. Rosenthal, No. 1 Civ. 652 (SAS), 2001 WL 910771 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 13, 2001):

"An account statement which consisted of a computer printout listing services provided, the dates on which the charges were incurred and the amounts debts incurred for each date of service, adequately met the requirements of 809(B) of the FDCPA."

This is out of date. The FTC Wollman letter, Spears v Brennan and [Coppola?] v Arrow set aside that ruling. Computer printouts are not validation.

"We are not required to prove the legitimacy of our relationship with out client, only the legitimacy of the debt owed." Oh, yes, they are required.

Here's what you do. First, get copies of your CR now (if you haven't already done so). After you get the copies, send them another DV letter CMRRR sort of like the one below. After you receive the Return Receipt in the mail, send a letter CMRRR to those CRAs which are reporting the debt and dispute it. If they validate the debt, you have them on more FDCPA violations and they'll end up owing you more than you owe them.

I wouldn't mention the FTC Wollman letter, Spears v Brennan or Coppola v Arrow (Arrow was forced to disclose exactly what Mr. Risk Manager says he doesn't have to, so search other posts for a discussion). First, this guy is a risk manager, meaning he doesn't know squat so he probably wouldn't be impressed or even understand (he thinks his debt collectin agency is a consumer reporting agency). Second, those are your trump cards. How many winning poker players show their hand voluntarily? None. Save those for a rainy day.

(Page 1)

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am in receipt of your letter dated <date>. I should like you to know that

Title 15, Chapter 41, Section 1681a, paragraph (f) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act reads in its entirety as the following:

"The term 'consumer reporting agency' means any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports."

Consequently, by definition, you are not a "consumer reporting agency." However, I congratulate you on providing me with prima facie evidence of violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for False or Misleading Representations [15 USC 1962e]

"A debt collector [yeah, that's you] may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. "

The statutory fine for violating the FDCPA is $1000 US dollars.

Since you have failed to provide proper validation of this debt, continued collection activity by your organization constitutes additional violations of the FDCPA. I am demanding, once again, that you provide me with the following:

1. Agreement with your client that grants you the authority to collect on this alleged debt,or proof of acquisition by purchase or assignment.

2. Agreement that bears the signature of the alleged debtor wherein he or she agreed to pay the creditor.

3. A complete accounting of monies purportedly owed by debtor;

4. Any insurance claims made by any creditor(s) regarding said account;

5. Any judgments obtained by any creditor(s) regarding said account.

I require compliance with the terms and conditions of this letter within 30 days, or a complete withdrawal, in writing, of any claim.

In the event of noncompliance, I reserve the right to file charges and/or complaints with appropriate County, State & Federal authorities, and the Better Business Bureau for violations of the FDCPA, FCRA, and Federal and State statutes on fraudulent extortion.

I also reserve my right to take private civil action against you to recover damages.

Best regards,

ORIGINAL SIGNED

<your typed name>

(Page 2 )

Debt Validation Compliance Form

(Questionnaire to be returned to me for Account <your account #>)

Original Creditor of Record

Name :

Address :

Suite :

City/State/Zip :

Telephone :

Original Debtor of Record

Name :

Address :

:

City/State/Zip :

Balance of Account:

Date you acquired this debt:

This Debt was (select one): Assigned Purchased

Please indicate any credit bureaus to which you have reported negative marks:

Experian

Equifax

Trans Union

Other (Identify): _______________

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Rosenthal is newer than Spears v. Brennan by five months. The Wollman letter is newer than Rosenthal by over two years. And the Rosenthal case has been eclipsed by higher court rulings.

Rosenthal was decided in the Southern District of New York. other cases much higher up the court food chain, such as Johnson v. MBNA overshadow that ruling.

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Sorry :( i did not repy sooner with thanks, but i have been investigating the cases both of you have refered me to. Get me going on this stuff and look out! :shock: Gdouglaslee thanks a million for taking the time to write the response letter :D . I guess i was still a bit nervous feeling like i'm on somewhat shaky ground, but the more i have investigated the cases both of you refered me to the better i feel. I am still disappointed with the vague definition of validation by the FCRA. Even the

The Wollman letter seems vague to some degree, though it does state that a computer printout is not proper validation, but it does not say what is either. The strongest case i have seen so far for backing up my request, and many others, for detailed validation is Johnson v. MBNA. Well i am going to send a similar letter to the one recommended by Gdouglaslee we will see what happens. If anyone else knows of other cases or documents that back up our requests for detailed validation please share. Thanks all,

Jethro

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I am still disappointed with the vague definition of validation by the FCRA. Even the The Wollman letter seems vague to some degree, though it does state that a computer printout is not proper validation, but it does not say what is either. The strongest case i have seen so far for backing up my request, and many others, for detailed validation is Johnson v. MBNA. Well i am going to send a similar letter to the one recommended by Gdouglaslee we will see what happens. If anyone else knows of other cases or documents that back up our requests for detailed validation please share. Thanks all,Jethro

No, no it's still something. At least you know what doesn't pass for validation. By ruling out what can't be used for validation you limit what can be used. Apparently, prior to the Wollman letter, Johnson and Coppola, there was nothing. So now we're at least approaching a level playing field.

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Sorry :( i did not repy sooner with thanks, but i have been investigating the cases both of you have refered me to. Get me going on this stuff and look out! :shock: Gdouglaslee thanks a million for taking the time to write the response letter :D . I guess i was still a bit nervous feeling like i'm on somewhat shaky ground, but the more i have investigated the cases both of you refered me to the better i feel. I am still disappointed with the vague definition of validation by the FCRA. Even the

The Wollman letter seems vague to some degree, though it does state that a computer printout is not proper validation, but it does not say what is either. The strongest case i have seen so far for backing up my request, and many others, for detailed validation is Johnson v. MBNA. Well i am going to send a similar letter to the one recommended by Gdouglaslee we will see what happens. If anyone else knows of other cases or documents that back up our requests for detailed validation please share. Thanks all,

Jethro

If you want to see what a court thinks validation is look up Coppola v. Arrow Financial Services. You can see what the court deemed was necessary under discovery and why the CA's reasoning didn't work to have it blocked.

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Hey guys,

I just tried to find the Coppola v. Arrow Financial Services case and i could only find the information on the ruling for the motion to compel. It basically summend up the whole discovery process and the ruling made arrow provide a bunch of documents and contract mush like we request in our validation letters. But this is in the process of discovery, this is after a lawsuit has been filed. So this validation process has been upheld during discovery, but what about the initial response to a validation letter by a CA. It looks pretty straight forward to me that initially that don't have to provide us with very much.

Just reading an article about the FDCPA and found this,

"The Fourth Circuit has held that "verification of a debt involves nothing more than the debt collector confirming in writing that the amount being demanded is what the creditor is claiming is owed; the debt collector is not required to keep detailed files of the alleged debt." Chaudhry v. Gallerizzo, 174 F.3d 394 (4th Cir. 1999); Stonehart v. Rosenthal, 01 Civ. 651, 2001 WL 910771 (S.D.N.Y., Aug. 13, 2001). Section 1692g©

Does anyone know of a similar statement about Coppala vs Arrow that nullifies the above statement?

So is this not relevant. This confues me and makes me feel like a judge could be swayed either way if i cited one case and the CA cited another like this which seems like a stronger case. This case is not refering to the discovery process like Copalla vs Arrow.

Well what do you guys think?

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Hey guys,

I just tried to find the Coppola v. Arrow Financial Services case and i could only find the information on the ruling for the motion to compel. It basically summend up the whole discovery process and the ruling made arrow provide a bunch of documents and contract mush like we request in our validation letters. But this is in the process of discovery, this is after a lawsuit has been filed. So this validation process has been upheld during discovery, but what about the initial response to a validation letter by a CA. It looks pretty straight forward to me that initially that don't have to provide us with very much.

Just reading an article about the FDCPA and found this,

"The Fourth Circuit has held that "verification of a debt involves nothing more than the debt collector confirming in writing that the amount being demanded is what the creditor is claiming is owed; the debt collector is not required to keep detailed files of the alleged debt." Chaudhry v. Gallerizzo, 174 F.3d 394 (4th Cir. 1999); Stonehart v. Rosenthal, 01 Civ. 651, 2001 WL 910771 (S.D.N.Y., Aug. 13, 2001). Section 1692g©

Does anyone know of a similar statement about Coppala vs Arrow that nullifies the above statement?

So is this not relevant. This confues me and makes me feel like a judge could be swayed either way if i cited one case and the CA cited another like this which seems like a stronger case. This case is not refering to the discovery process like Copalla vs Arrow.

Well what do you guys think?

The simple answer is that they can provide the documents now or in court. Yes, Coppola v Arrow is about the discovery process, but that doesn't invalidate what a court would expect to see. The point is, if you are going to stand up to a CA you have to be willing to follow through. If I demand validation and get a print-out, I simply tell them it's not valid and they can prove up now or in front of a judge when I sue their butts. I have never had any CA take me up on the lawsuit means of producing documents; they have either gone away completely, or admitted they can't get those docs. Since you're doing this all by US Postal (Riiigghhhtt?) their admittance is in writing.

I've said this a number of times, but it is worth repeating: The FDCPA has absolutley nothing to do with if the debt is valid or not. It is strict liability on the behavior of the CA. If they violate any part of the FDCPA you have a claim on them; the debt itself makes no difference at all. The strategy is for them to owe you more than what you allegedly owe them.

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Don't get all sidetracked on the computer printout deal.

Focus instead on the underlying issue, PROOF OF YOUR LIABILITY. They say you owe them, they need to prove it by some sort of writing like a contract, agreement, cancelled checks, receipts, etc.

Take a gander at Contract Law, Fair Billing Act provisions. Try to get a new perspectives instead of focusing on the FDCPA issue solely. Something in writing that ties you to the ALLEGED debt, a purchase made with credit card number/check#, goods received, non-conforming goods, whatever. If it's a CA, they'd better it or get it from the orig creditor.

If you're dealing with the original creditor, they'd better have something like that. That's your proof of indebtness. A computer printout can be generated arbitrarily.

Remember, we're talking about validating with an actual, handwritten signature, or something legally tangible that ties you to that debt.

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Why not raise reasonable doubt issues in court to throw things back their (The CA/Claimiant's) way.

Here's some thoughts that can hopefully help you put some kind of brief or answer together.

For validation, you can raise issue that the Claimiant(s) willfully failed to respond to your good faith efforts to validate the debt and have discover the authenticity of their claim. Which is why you ultimately had to resort to utilizing the judicial system for redress. Put this in your brief!!! It'll look like you've reached the last straw when the judge reads it (If he/she does)

Their failure to produce any orignal writings(or authentic facsimiles thereof) to validate the alleged debt, infers that they would rather abandon sound business practices in the name of convenience, and forsake the insurance of legal standing by failing to possess, produce or provide the requested documentation and information.

Good faith would compel the Claimiant(s) to produce proof in the form(s) requested in your validation letters.

Merely producing a computer or electronic printout without any debtor signature cannot reasonably meet the test of proof.

Oral representations or mere assumptions that are transferred into computer/electronic data which become debt cannot be relied on. This borders on hearsay, and the contents thereof subject to arbitrary calculation, interpretation and assumption on behalf of the Claimiant(s). Mortgages, Car Loans, and Credit debts have some form of signature on record. They also specify the terms, conditions and indebtness for which one is liable.

A question must be raised as to the whether the court will accept an electronically generated document for the sake of commerical convenience or an authentic (either original or copy) document with handwritten signature(s) for the sake of judicial equity and fairness.

Hope this helps!

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What about if they provide a copy of a credit card statement only and an affidavit of the supposed seller of the debt? Is that correct validation? They provided nothing with my husband's signature.

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What about if they provide a copy of a credit card statement only and an affidavit of the supposed seller of the debt? Is that correct validation? They provided nothing with my husband's signature.

No.

:arrow: I suggest you start reading some more here before u get burn't.

There is a ton of good info here. :mrgreen:

U want to get the original contract/agreement with your signature on it (wet ink). Thats how I see it.

Hope that helps. :D

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You have me wondering about validation. I thought the FDCPA required a validation shortly after it was requested as well as the name/address of the OC "if different" although how they would know if it was different than a name address I was previously given by the OC how would they know if it was different. But I digress. If the CA did not validate the debt as specified in the FDCPA then I don't think they can report it to a court or CRA as a debt without saying that the debt is disputed.

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great stuff! *lurk*

First of all, the FCRA defines a "consumer reporting agency" as the following:

Title 15 Chapter 41 Section 1681a

paragraph (f)

The term ''consumer reporting agency'' means any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports.

By definition, they are NOT a "consumer reporting agency."

Secondly;

This is also supported in the findings of the U.S. District Court is Stoneheart v. Rosenthal, No. 1 Civ. 652 (SAS), 2001 WL 910771 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 13, 2001):

"An account statement which consisted of a computer printout listing services provided, the dates on which the charges were incurred and the amounts debts incurred for each date of service, adequately met the requirements of 809(B) of the FDCPA."

This is out of date. The FTC Wollman letter, Spears v Brennan and [Coppola?] v Arrow set aside that ruling. Computer printouts are not validation.

"We are not required to prove the legitimacy of our relationship with out client, only the legitimacy of the debt owed." Oh, yes, they are required.

Here's what you do. First, get copies of your CR now (if you haven't already done so). After you get the copies, send them another DV letter CMRRR sort of like the one below. After you receive the Return Receipt in the mail, send a letter CMRRR to those CRAs which are reporting the debt and dispute it. If they validate the debt, you have them on more FDCPA violations and they'll end up owing you more than you owe them.

I wouldn't mention the FTC Wollman letter, Spears v Brennan or Coppola v Arrow (Arrow was forced to disclose exactly what Mr. Risk Manager says he doesn't have to, so search other posts for a discussion). First, this guy is a risk manager, meaning he doesn't know squat so he probably wouldn't be impressed or even understand (he thinks his debt collectin agency is a consumer reporting agency). Second, those are your trump cards. How many winning poker players show their hand voluntarily? None. Save those for a rainy day.

(Page 1)

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am in receipt of your letter dated <date>. I should like you to know that

Title 15, Chapter 41, Section 1681a, paragraph (f) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act reads in its entirety as the following:

"The term 'consumer reporting agency' means any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports."

Consequently, by definition, you are not a "consumer reporting agency." However, I congratulate you on providing me with prima facie evidence of violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for False or Misleading Representations [15 USC 1962e]

"A debt collector [yeah, that's you] may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. "

The statutory fine for violating the FDCPA is $1000 US dollars.

Since you have failed to provide proper validation of this debt, continued collection activity by your organization constitutes additional violations of the FDCPA. I am demanding, once again, that you provide me with the following:

1. Agreement with your client that grants you the authority to collect on this alleged debt,or proof of acquisition by purchase or assignment.

2. Agreement that bears the signature of the alleged debtor wherein he or she agreed to pay the creditor.

3. A complete accounting of monies purportedly owed by debtor;

4. Any insurance claims made by any creditor(s) regarding said account;

5. Any judgments obtained by any creditor(s) regarding said account.

I require compliance with the terms and conditions of this letter within 30 days, or a complete withdrawal, in writing, of any claim.

In the event of noncompliance, I reserve the right to file charges and/or complaints with appropriate County, State & Federal authorities, and the Better Business Bureau for violations of the FDCPA, FCRA, and Federal and State statutes on fraudulent extortion.

I also reserve my right to take private civil action against you to recover damages.

Best regards,

ORIGINAL SIGNED

<your typed name>

(Page 2 )

Debt Validation Compliance Form

(Questionnaire to be returned to me for Account <your account #>)

Original Creditor of Record

Name :

Address :

Suite :

City/State/Zip :

Telephone :

Original Debtor of Record

Name :

Address :

:

City/State/Zip :

Balance of Account:

Date you acquired this debt:

This Debt was (select one): Assigned Purchased

Please indicate any credit bureaus to which you have reported negative marks:

Experian

Equifax

Trans Union

Other (Identify): _______________

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Question guys/gals

cap one told me in valadtion response account was open by phone or internet and the had no signed contract . this was letter i sent is it ok any sugestion u see from date i just sent out cert RR

Capital One Services LLC

P O Box 30285

Salt Lake City, Utah 84130

January 25, 2010

Ref: #xxxxxxx

Dear Capital One,

I recently obtained my credit report from Trans Union 01/19/2010. There is a serious inaccuracy that is being reported by your company. Capital One #

85

This is not my account and it is fraudulent.

I have had two Capital One accounts. A few years back your company combined the two accounts into one account. I still have this account ending in #xxx. I may add this is a active account and has never been late. Please check your records into account ending in #0484. and your company will see that you combined the two accounts. I have never had a Capital One #xxxxxxxxxxx This is not my account.

I request you VALIDATE this debt. Please be advised that this is not a refusal to pay, but a notice sent pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (B) that your claim is disputed and validation is requested.

This is NOT a request for “verification” or proof of my mailing address, but a request for VALIDATION made pursuant to the above named Title and Section. I respectfully request that your offices provide me with competent evidence that I have any legal obligation to pay you.

I'm sure you know, under FDCPA Section 809 (B), you are not allowed to pursue collection activity until the debt is validated. You should be made aware that in TWYLA BOATLEY, Plaintiff, vs. DIEM CORPORATION, No. CIV 03-0762 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA, 2004, the courts ruled that reporting a collection account indeed is considered collection activity

In addition I request that you restrict your contact with me to writing, and only when you can provide adequate validation of this alleged debt. To refresh your memory on what constitutes legal validation, I am giving a list of the required documentation:

• Complete payment history, the requirement of which has been established via Spears v Brennan 745 N.E.2d 862; 2001 Ind. App. LEXIS 509

• Agreement that bears the signature of the alleged debtor wherein he/she agreed to pay the original creditor Capital One Acct: #4862362521713985

• What the money you say I owe is for

• Documentation of how said debt was calculated. Actual debt originated the complete accounting of said debt from inception to present date. Including and not limited to, interest, fees and payments of said debt. Pertaining to Capital One Acct: #4862362521713985

• Provide me with copies of any papers,documents,contracts or invoices of any charges or any signed receipt or contract that I signed or agreed to pay Capital One Acct: #4xxxxx

• Intimate knowledge of the creation of the debt by you, in regards to Capital One Acct: #xxxxxxxxx I respectfully request you VALIDATE this highly injurious erroneous debt and that you contact Trans Union immediately and rectify this situation or I will have no choice but to file formal complaints with the agencies listed below. I will also file a civil claim in Superior Court.

Please forward me copies of your letter to Trans Union in regards to this matter. I require a clear, concise response, on point, in writing, hand signed, and in a timely manner.

Sincerely,

me

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Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (B) that your claim is disputed and validation is requested.

Refers to debt collectors not OCs.

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