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Selling Property for Corporation

Rabbi,

A certain property is owned by a corporation. I don’t think the corporation is still active. Half of the corporation is owned by my father and half was owned by a certain Jewish man who has since passed away and we do not know who his heirs are. I may work on selling the property. I may have to lay out money for legal fees, signs, appraisals and other things. I would like to get a return on the money I lay out, I would like the bank’s prime rate plus 2%. How should I handle this?

Answer:

If I understand correctly, you wish to lend money to the corporation, and the corporation will pay you back.

Rather than lending the money, which can involve a ribbis problem, you can simply receive a “salary” from the corporation for your effort. This would solve the problems.

If you need to do things by way of a loan, you can arrange a heter iska to be signed between you and the corporation (your father would sign on behalf of the corporation).

The question, however, is how you can sell the property on behalf of the corporation, without consulting with the heirs of the person who passed away. The heirs can surely be located, and they will then have to be consulted concerning such moves.

[Sometimes, it will be possible to make transactions without consulting, but only under circumstances of certain gain or to avert certain loss.]

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