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Lowering Loan amount

Question:

Hello,
With Hashem’s Divine Intervention my family and I came under a massive amount of debt for many reasons. Since the interest rates were so high, we decided to take out loans from our bank in Israel (works under Herer Iska) to pay off the massive debt. Due to COVID we haven’t been receiving money from people we loaned to, thereby making it harder to pay our debt to the bank. A lawyer reached out to us who said he can force the bank to either lower the total debt or increase the amount of payments but lower the monthly fee. The method of doing so would require us to leave the bank and stop paying for the loans. When the bank sends a suit then the lawyer will take care of the rest and let us know which option he was able to get for us. Then we start paying the agreed amount to the bank.
Is this Halachically permissible? We live frugally, but expenses keep rising. We are doing everything we can to lower our monthly fees so we can pay off our debts, but we are already at a near dead end as our account is also in the negative.
Thank you.

 

Answer:

Doing something like this to a this bank is problematic. the reason is because you are essentially forcing the bank to forgive some of the loan when they do not want to and is included in the “oshek”, which is the prohibition nt to withhold money from someone that it is owed to.

In the zechus of keeping to the halacha, may Hashem help you pay up all your debts, and shower you with parnassa.

Best wishes

Sources:

Terumas Hadeshen 1-306.

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