Someone purchased something from me. I have a few thousand dollars in a maaser account, and told them to send me 3 checks for various tzedakas-that way they can get a relax deduction (they asked for it).
The customer is late in paying; can I already use the money in my maaser account or do I need to wait until the person sends the checks?
If the person does not pay, is he stealing from Tzedaka, via Shibuda Dreb Nosson, or from me?
There is no dispute at all regarding the payment.
The person bought the item from you, and he owes you the money, therefore if he doesn’t pay you, he is stealing from you, not from the tzedakah. Regarding taking the money from the tzedakah, that would be like borrowing the tzedakah money, with the intention that the customer should pay it back. We should not borrow from tzedakah money if there are poor people that need the money. Therefore unless you have other monies in the account that you can give to the tzedakah if the money would be needed, you shouldn’t borrow from it, especially since the money is already late, which would cast a doubt if the customer is going to pay.
באורח צדקה י”ז- י”א ס”ק טז המהרש”ם בסי’ רנח ס”א כתב בשם המאמ”ר והבנין ציון שאסור ללוות מקופה זו דהא קיי”ל בשו”ע סי’ רנט ס”א דמשבא ליד גבאי אסור וע’ בס’ צדקה ומשפט פ”ח ס”ט הביא שיש חולקים להקל וכן היקל הגרש”ז אויערבאך זצ”ל, אמנם כאן הוא לוקח את הכסף על שעת שמהו אחר ישלם הכסף.