exchange

Mutilated Money? This Place Will Give You a Fresh Stack

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- If you have money that's been damaged in a fire,

in a flood, that's been eaten by insects or animals,

we'll evaluate and determine how much is there

and reimburse you for it.

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My name is Eric Walsh, I'm the assistant manager

at the Mutilated Currency Division.

Every year, the Mutilated Currency Division

receives about 23,000 cases, people will send money

that's been somehow damaged,

and we reimburse, annually, about 40 million dollars.

It's a free service the government provides

that we pay dollar in dollar out.

We require 51 percent of the note present to pay on it

and that just protects us

from paying twice on the same note.

Once we determine the amount,

we will send a treasury check for what we discover.

We're pretty low-tech here,

so the tools of the trade are scissors, knives, scalpels,

glue and tape, and maybe a pair of tweezers.

The most challenging cases are usually cases that

the money has gotten wet and sat for long periods of times,

and it'll actually petrify and be solid as a brick.

A lot of it is "the dog ate my money."

We get hundreds of those cases a year.

A lot of people

will hide their money in the oven and forget about it,

or they'll get it wet and put it in the microwave

and that will ignite the currency.

Our most infamous case took place in the '80s,

and what happened was a farmer lost his wallet in a field

and discovered that his cow had eaten it,

and we always encourage the submitter

to send in the package as it is;

and the farmer sent in the cow's stomach,

which we were able to retrieve the wallet from

and reimburse the farmer his currency.

Our office consists of just under 20 people,

and we have 12 people

that examine and process the submissions,

and they do roughly between

1,000 and 2,000 claims each year.

We do get an increased amount of cases

after a natural disaster.

Over the past year between the hurricanes

and wildfires out in California,

we've reimbursed over two million dollars.

We're called upon when a lot of people hit their low point,

so any relief that you could provide someone

after they lost all their money in a flood

or after their house burned down is very rewarding.

Hopefully we're a service that you will never need to use,

but in case something does happen, we're here for you.

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