Translation:Shulchan Aruch/Choshen Mishpat/107

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Paragraph 1- There is a mitzvah for inheritors to pay their father’s debts and we force them to comply with this mitzvah just as we would force their father. When is this true? When the father left real property. If he only left moveable items, however, we would not force them to pay their fathers debt, but they do still have a mitzvah to pay their father’s debts from the moveable items. This is all strict law. The geonim instituted, however, that a creditor can collect moveable items left by the inheritors’ father. Thus, today we do force inheritors to repay their father’s debt, even if it was an oral loan and even from the moveable items their father left and even if the father acquired the items after the loan and did not write in the document that he would obligate properties he was going to acquire in the future- See later in Siman 111- because the inheritor takes his father’s place. Similarly, the inheritors are required to pay their father’s debt from a loan of others that their father had in his possession, whether they collect real property or money from the loan. If they inherited real property and moveable items, and the document does not explicitly state that the lender can collect moveable items both in life and death, and the inheritors want the creditor to collect real property and he wants to collect moveable items, the inheritors are in the right. If, however, the inheritors did not inherit anything from their father, they are not required to pay back their father’s debts and there is not even a mitzvah. If they inherited a small amount of properties, they only have to pay back what they inherited. If the inheritor says he won’t inherit and won’t pay, see later at the end of Siman 278 as to whether we listen to him.

Paragraph 2- If the inheritor claims that his father did not leave him any money and thus he is not obligated to pay back his father’s debt from his own property and the lender claims that the father certainly did bequeath money, the inheritor would take a heses oath and be exempt. If the lender only makes an uncertain claim, he can only place a general cherem. The Hagahos Ashri in Chapter Mi Shemes writes in name of the Ohr Zarua who wrote in the name of Rabeinu Tam and Rabeinu Simcha that if Reuven owed money to Shimon and Reuven died, Shimon can hold up the burial until he is paid back. If Shimon is Reuven’s relative, the family can object to Shimon holding up the burial so as not to degrade the deceased. Similarly, if the creditor comes and collects all the borrower’s property, he is not obligated to bury him.

Paragraph 3- If the inheritor sold all of his father’s property, the creditor can certainly collect from the buyers, even if the inheritor has his own real property in his possession because his properties are not owed for his father’s debt. Even if his father had inferior property and the inheritor has superior property, the inheritor cannot remove the creditor with the superior property without the creditor’s consent. If, however, the inheritor wants to remove the creditor so that he does not collect from the buyers and he gives him money, he can remove him, notwithstanding the fact that he did not inherit money from his father, unless the father explicitly designated these specific properties to the creditor to collect from.

Paragraph 4- If the inheritor sold all of his father’s property and the creditor is unable to seize them from the buyers, such as where he sold it go gentiles or something similar, there are those that say the creditor can collect from money in the orphans’ possession and there are those that say that he cannot collect.

Paragraph 5- Now that the geonim have instituted to even collect moveable items that the father had left from the inheritors, if the lender seized the borrower’s moveable item, the seizure would work, even after the borrower had died and even if the lender did not have witnesses on the debt in which case he would not be able to collect had he not seized the property. Now that he seized the property he is believed to collect with an oath with a migu that had he wanted he could have said he did not seize the property.

Paragraph 6- If the debt against their father was a maneh and the father did not leave any real property or moveable items other than real property worth 50 and the creditor comes to seize the property and the inheritors gave 50 of their own money to the creditor, the creditor cannot collect the land again for the remainder of the debt, even if the inheritors did not tell the lender that they are giving the money for the value of the property. See later 111:9. Similarly, a later creditor cannot collect the land because it is as if the first creditor collected it as repayment for the debt and they subsequently purchased it from him.

Paragraph 7- If brothers inherited real property from their father and divided it and the creditor comes to seize the properties and they only inherited two fields, with each one taking one, they cannot tell the creditor to take a half a field from each brother. Rather, he takes one field from whichever one he wants. If, however, they inherited four fields and the debt is equal to two of the fields, the creditor cannot say I will take two fields from one of you. Rather, he must take one field from each brother unless the borrower had designated two of the fields that had gone to one of the brothers for collection, in which case he can take them, even if it was not an explicit designation but the borrower simply obligated all his properties and designated those fields with their borders as first for repayment.

Paragraph 8- If their father left money and moveable items and they divided it and the creditor comes to collect from them and the inheritors are currently accessible, he collects the appropriate portion from each one. If they are not all accessible, he does not have to go after them. Rather, he takes the entire debt from the inheritor that is in front of us and that inheritor will go after the others.

Paragraph 9- If they inherited real property and divided it and one sold his portion or gave it away as a gift and their father’s creditor comes to collect his debt, the creditor may seize half the debt from buyer that purchased from the inheritor and half from the other inheritor.

Paragraph 10- If Shimon told inheritors that they have a maneh of his in their possession and they confessed in front of witnesses and when he subsequently makes the claim against them they say they only confessed to owing him via their father and he left nothing with which to pay back, and Shimon says that the inheritors themselves owe him money, since they confessed without elaboration they are required to pay back. See above Siman 81. If they confessed in front of a solo witness and they say they did not confess, they would swear to contradict the witness. If they admit that they confessed without elaboration in front of the witness but say they did not intend to confess that they themselves owed money but that they owed via their father, they are required to pay. See above 75:13.

Paragraph 11- If their father left moveable items and they prematurely paid a later creditor, an earlier creditor cannot take away the items.

Paragraph 12- If Reuven died and they found written in his ledger in his handwriting that he owes Shimon a maneh, the inheritors are exempt, because an oral loan is not collected from inheritors, even with witnesses, unless it was within the timeframe. See earlier 91:5 and later 110:7.