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Questions about Pruzbol and Shmitas Kesafim

Question:

  1. Can you explain it?
  2. Is it at the end of Shmitta, or at the beginning?
  3. What if it was not made, can a person still collect a loan?
  4. Can your BEIS DIN, make a Pruzbol for persons in America?
  5. Borrower does not own land?

Answer:

  1. The idea of pruzbol is that Hillel saw that people were afraid and were abstaining from lending other money out of fear that they wouldn’t get their money back. He therefore instituted that one can give the outstanding loans owed to his to a Beis din and then shmitta will not cancel the loan.
  2. According to most poskim, Shmittas Kesofim applies at the end of Shmitta, which would be right before sunset of Erev Rosh Hashana 5783. Therefore the pruzbol is written on that day or shortly before it. There is an opinion in the Rishonim that it applies at the beginning of shmitta, we don’t rule like this opinion, however there some people that write one right before the beginning of shmitta.
  3. If it wasn’t made, he may not ask for the money back. If the person comes to pay back the loan he should be told that shmitta exempt it already. If the still wants to pay it you may take the money.
  4. It is permitted to make a beis din you agent to write out the pruzbol for you, even if you live in a different time zone, as long as it was made before the time that he loans go off.
  5. In order for the pruzbol to be valid, the borrower has to own land, even if it is only a minute amount, and even if he only owns it temporarily. If he doesn’t any land, the lender can gift him a small piece of land, which will go back to the lender after Rosh Hashana.

Best wishes

Sources:

  1. Moed Katan Perek 3-3.
  2. Rambam Hilchos Shmitta 9-4, CH:M 67-30, Rosh Gittin 4-18,20.
  3. Devorim 15, Rambam Shmitta 9-1, CH:M 67-1.
  4. CH:M 67-19, See Minchas Shlomo 1-47 (2) regarding writing the pruzbol if it is already Rosh Hashana in the place that the borrower is. Also see Shevet Halevi 9-291(2), Chazon Ovadia pg. 80.
  5. Mishnayos Shvi’is 2-6, Gittin 36a, 37a, CH:M 67-22

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