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paying library fee


I borrowed some books from the library for my sister; she was late in returning them and said that I shouldn’t worry, she will pay the fines. Am I allowed to take money from her for the fines, or have her pay it directly to the library, or is it considered Ribis? Is there any way she can pay it?


There is no problem of ribbis here. The reason is because there was never monetary loan here, where you borrow one thing and give back something else. Here you are like renting the book for free for the first two weeks, and after that they charge rent for it, in the form of a fine. This is not ribbis. This would not only apply to books from a library, but to any place that lends items, and they have to be returned.

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  1. Thank you for your reply!
    Can you please provide the sources?
    Also, What is Halacha regarding my Credit card that I let someone else use, and that one pays it back late, can he pay for the late fee and interest? (Can you kindly provide sources)

    1. Baba Metzia 69b, Y:D 176 1-3, Shut Bris Pinchois 189. The question regarding the credit I will IUY”h answer in a seperate post.

      1. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        If the dayanim see the agreement between the library and the borrower as a rental, won’t there be a problem of ribbis since the policy, at least in our local library, is that if the book is lost or damaged the borrower must pay the library what it costs on Amazon to replace the book. Once they are charging replacement costs rather than the value at the time it was borrowed, isn’t that itself going to be prohibited? Granted in a municipal library, the lender is a gentile but in a Jewish owned library, that would be a problem, would it not?

        1. Something is considered a loan that ribbis would apply is when the item is given in order to use it up and repay back something else. A rental however is an agreement is that the item itself has to be returned. This is not going to affect the part of the agreement what happens in the event that the item isn’t returned, whatever they make up will not change what transaction it was originally, which was a rental.

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