I vaguely recall hearing once that our sages do not view with favor, and have a special name for, the situation where a debtor -- presumably one who can afford to repay his debt within the originally agreed-upon time-frame -- does eventually pay off his debt, but only over a very long and drawn-out period of time, with a large number of "micropayments", each of which alone would be considered by the creditor to be "insignificant pocket change."

Can anyone confirm this and provide sources, as well as the specific name or phrase used to describe this situation?

1 Answer 1


Your question has two components:

A) Not paying back the debt on time. B) Paying back in a manner that has a lot of "processing" expenses for the creditor.

a) In a functioning halachic world, if one doesn't pay his debts, the beit din can confiscate his assets or enslave him if he doesn't have any.

b) In "The laws of Ribbis" 6:18 it says that "service fees" for processing payments are allowed. If the debtor writes 1000 checks for a penny each which the creditor must then individually endorse and drive to the bank, the creditor certainly endures a processing fee. The question is whether he can claim against the debtor if this feature was not specified in the contract. It would probably be according to local practice. This part of the question is the sort that needs to be referred to a posek on a case by case basis. I could see it being ruled either way.

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