Thursday, July 10, 2014

Compelling a debtor to swear to his poverty, Part 2


[continued from yesterday's post]

Preface: In order to encourage payment of debts, the sages enacted a rule permitting a creditor to demand that a debtor in default swear that he does not have the means to pay his debt. Regarding this, Rambam comments:

"And so I also say that if a person is established as a cunning person, and his commercial activities are corrupt, and he has means, possessing funds, and he claims that he has nothing and he runs to take this oath, then it is not appropriate to make him swear.

"Rather, if the judge is able to compel him to pay his creditor, or to excommunicate him until he pays, this is what he should do, since this person has means. Paying a creditor is a mitzvah.

[to be continued]

(Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Lender and Borrower 2:4)

Have a great day,

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