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Section: Questions   Category: Money Matters
  A r c h i v e s
Money Matters - Thank You For Loan
Submitted by tzvi Schneider  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool

It is forbidden to pay any kind of interest on a loan, and this includes even something purely verbal, such as blessing the lender for lending you the money.

To say "Thank you," however, is permitted by some (though not all) authorities, because they regard this not as a favour for the lender but rather as simply good manners.

Saying "I appreciate this" is perhaps similar because it is not so much a blessing to the lender as a statement intended to indicate that I am not so ungrateful as to not acknowledge the loan.

posted:2009-09-17 00:49:39  (0) comments   email to a friend

Money Matters - Managing Bank Accounts
Submitted by Steve  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool

If you yourself use the money in these accounts, even occasionally, for yourself, then in effect you are borrowing money from your family members, and lending that in turn to the bank. It would therefore be forbidden to pass on any interest earned in the bank to your family, because in effect the bank is paying you interest on your loan to them and you are paying interest to your family on the loan that they lent you.

If, however, you do not use this money at all but simply keep it there on their behalf, I have seen it written in the name of Rav Elyashiv that this would be permissible. Although the bank, recognizing only you and not your family, believes that it is paying interest to you, you actually know that the money deposited in the bank really belongs to your family, and when you collect interest from the bank you are actually merely collecting it on their behalf.

posted:2009-09-01 11:49:00  (0) comments   email to a friend

Money Matters - Accrued Interest from a Deposit
Submitted by Pinchas  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool
Answer: The property manager merely passes on your payments. However, if the landlord is Jewish, it is forbidden to take any interest form him, especially if it was fixed and agreed beforehand that he would pay it. You should inform the landlord that you cannot accept the interest. If he sends it anyway, in this case you need not return it.
posted:2009-05-05 12:12:21  (0) comments   email to a friend

Money Matters - Borrowed Bike Wreck
Submitted by chaim  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool
Answer: The prohibition of paying interest applies to loans and payments etc. There is no prohibition of paying interest when returning stolen money. It would seem to me that the responsibility that a borrower accepts for the borrowed item can, in this regard, be more comparable to the case of returning stolen money than the case of repaying a loan. As such there would be no prohibition of adding extra money, particularly so in this case (in which you are not giving back more money, but rather a similar object although  is worth more).
posted:2009-04-30 14:39:32  (0) comments   email to a friend

Money Matters - Home Equity Loan
Submitted by Chaim  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool
No. The bank does not recognize your friend, only you. So the bank is lending you money (with interest) and in effect you are lending money to your friend, who is paying you interest by paying off your debts of interest to the bank.
posted:2009-02-25 01:37:29  (0) comments   email to a friend

Money Matters - Ribbis - Dollar Shekel Currency Exchange
Submitted by goldbaum  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool

The halachos of Ribbis – the prohibition of paying interest – are numerous and complex, but we shall try to present a very brief summary with regard to the subject at hand.

In situations of inflation or deflation, the Halachah regards the currency as being stable and everything else as fluctuation. So if one borrows, for example, $100, one pays back $100, even if there was deflation in the interim and the $100 has more buying power than it did at the time of the loan. If, however one borrows anything other than currency, e.g. food, goods etc. there is a concern that in the interim there may be inflation, and the goods will increase in value, so that if one repaid the same amount of goods one would actually be paying interest. For example, if one borrowed a kilo of flour from a neighbour, and returned it a week later, and in the interim the price of flour increased, returning a kilo of flour would entail repaying the loan with something that is worth more than the original loan, which involves the prohibition of paying interest.

Therefore, in general Chazal prohibited lending anything other than currency, for fear that the value may increase before the repayment of the loan.

However, there are two leniencies built in to this prohibition. Firstly, if the price is stable, it is permitted, because there is no concern that the price will increase. Secondly, if the borrower has at least a small amount of the borrowed item, it is also permitted. For example, it would be permitted to borrow a kilo of flour if the borrower has at least some flour of his own at home.

What about different currencies? The consensus of opinion among the Poskim is that foreign currency that is not readily usable in the country where the loan is taking place is considered as goods rather than currency. So to borrow Canadian dollars in Israel would not be permitted unless the borrower owned at least one Canadian dollar of his own.

Now we approach the question in hand. What if the loan took place in the local currency, but the repayment takes place in a different country in the local currency of the place of repayment? For example, one lends shekels in Israel with the repayment in Canadian dollars in Canada.

There would appear to be a difference of opinion as to how to regard this loan.

Rav Yosef Gelber (Nesivos Sholom 162:1) is inclined to consider this as a loan of money, as this is the local currency at the time of the loan. As such, there would be no problem with the actual loan. When the time would come to repay the loan in Canada, one could either pay the same amount of shekels that was borrowed or alternatively, pay the amount in Canadian dollars at the exchange rate of the time of repayment.

(If you want to fix the repayment in Canadian dollars at the exchange rate which is valid at the time of the loan, in effect the "lender" is buying dollars, and it would only be permissible if the borrower in Canada has in his possession the entire value of the loan in Canadian dollars – Bris Yehudah 20:11.)

Rav Yaakov Blau, however, (Bris Yehudah 18 footnote 15) is inclined to view the loan as being a loan of goods rather than currency. Because the condition of the loan was that it be repaid in Canada, not Israel, he regards it as if the loan actually took place in Canada. And since the shekel is not a valid currency in Canada, such an arrangement would be prohibited unless the borrower had at least one shekel in his possession at the time of the loan.

Thus in our case, if your brother in Canada has at least one shekel in his possession, he can ask your mother to lend him shekels in Israel (by paying off any debts that he has there). If he doesn’t have any shekels, ask your mother to give someone a shekel to acquire it on his behalf. Once he now owns a shekel, the arrangement is permitted, as explained earlier. Again, the repayment in Canada would be in shekels, or in Canadian dollars at the exchange rate which is valid at the time of the repayment.

And again, if you want to fix the repayment in Canadian dollars at the exchange rate which is valid at the time of the loan, in effect the "lender" is buying dollars, and it would only be permissible if the borrower in Canada has in his possession the entire value of the loan in Canadian dollars.

posted:2009-01-27 00:25:33  (0) comments   email to a friend

Money Matters - hike in bus fair
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool
Answer: If the arrangement was that you would pay back cash, then one may not pay back more than the original value, nor may one return a bus card with one “punch” left if this is now worth more, as this would amount to paying interest.

However, if the arrangement was that one would pay back with a punch on the card, then it is permissible (even if the price increased in between) as long as the price was fixed at the time of the “loan” and was not due to increase in the immediate future.

If, however, the price increase was expected, one may not lend the punch of the card with intention to return the same thing, since in between it will increase in value and one would be paying interest on the loan.

In such circumstances, one should agree at the outset either to repay the loan of the punch in cash at the value of the punch, or to repay the loan in cash at the value of a single journey (although the lender bought this journey for a cheaper price since he bought a card which offers a reduction if one buys several journeys together, nonetheless he’s entitled to charge others for each punch the price of a single journey).

However, if at the time of the loan of the card the borrower had a similar card in his possession (even if it is not on his person at the time) one may make an arrangement to repay the loan with a card that has a punch available, even if the price is due to increase.
posted:2009-01-11 13:45:27  (0) comments   email to a friend

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