We are continuing in the halachos of pruzbol. Today, we will discuss the language and procedure of the pruzbol.
The process begins with the borrower coming into the beis din in order to make a declaration in front of beis din. One can come on their own behalf, on behalf of their wife, on behalf of a business, or as a shliach for someone who cannot make it.
The basic language is that the person declares that they are giving all outstanding debts owed to them to beis din, so that any debts they have may be collected at any time they see fit. The beis din has to be seated.
Beis din documents the proceeding by writing that “so-and-so came to beis din and told us that they are giving all their debts over to beis din [writing the exact language stated by the lender]. Therefore, we give him the authority to collect”. They sign at the bottom with their full Hebrew name and the name of their father, and attach the appellation of dayan, judge, after their names.
The composition of the beis din, for ashkenazim, can be anyone who has a basic understanding of the mechanics of pruzbul. Sephardim have a higher requirement of who should be on the beis din.
The person must understand what they are saying, so if they do not understand Hebrew, they should recite it in english. The dayanim can document and sign in either language they see fit.
Although beis din normally cannot be convened at night, a beis din for this purpose may be done at night. The individual members of the beis din should preferably not be related to the borrower or lender. Preferably, the members of the beis din should not be related to each other, but there is what to rely on if it is done.
If one is unable to make it to the beis din, there is another option available, which is to write the language on a piece of paper, sign on the bottom, and send it to the beis din. Beis din will generate a pruzbol based on the written testimony. Alternatively, one could state the language in front of two witnesses, including the dayanim or beis din to which he is giving the loans over, and the witnesses can document the oral testimony and bring it to beis din. This allows for someone to call into beis din as well. Some poskim even allow for it to be done online.
A pruzbol can done earlier than Erev Rosh Hashanah, but must be completed before the end of the 29th of Elul, i.e., before Rosh Hashanah begins.
Be’ezras Hashem, we will discuss whether there are any limitations on the borrower.
- The basic procedure of the pruzbol is that one comes to beis din, states that they wish to give their loans over to beis din, and the beis din documents and signs their statement.
- One can come to beis din on behalf of others, or one can send oral or written testimony to beis din through a shliach.
- One must understand what they are saying; if they do not understand Hebrew they should recite it in english.
- A pruzbol may be completed earlier than Erev Rosh Hashanah. It may be completed at night.
- The judges should not be related to the borrower or lender, nor to each other. They must have a basic understanding of pruzbol (according to Ashkenazim), and should sit for the proceeding.