A friend of mine wants to borrow a large sum of money. What is the halachic way to do this? Do I need witnesses see the transfer of money? If I give him a check and there are witnesses do I have to make sure they see the sum written on the check? Is it better to write a shtar?
Thanks for your time.
For borrowing money (even for a small amount), the Shulchan Aruch rules that one must ensure that there are one of two means of ensuring repayment: 1) witnesses, or 2) a promissory note.
Even for somebody who one relies on entirely, one of these means are required, to ensure that the debt won’t be forgotten.
Witness do have to know the amount (otherwise, they won’t be very effective witnesses); a shtar (promissory note) is a perfectly valid alternative.