In Halocho #154 we learnt that when Shmita ends, so does the ability to request payment of certain loans.
However, if loans are handed over to a Bet Din (Jewish court of law) to collect, they may be collected even after Shmita.
Hillel Hazaken (the founder of Bet Hillel, 2,000 years ago) institutionalized handing over ones debts to a Bet Din, using a document called a Prozbul. (Prozbul is a Greek word.)
With a Prozbul one may collect debts even after Shmita ends.
A Prozbul is written and signed in the presence of 3 Torah-learning Jews. A Prozbul needs to be written before Shmita ends to be affective.
Money (or items) loaned after the Prozbul is written are not covered by the Prozbul.
Make sure to calenderize a Prozbul-writing session with your local Orthodox Rabbinate sometime before Rosh Hashana. The last time to write a Prozbul (for this Shmita cycle) is on September 29, 2008.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 180:15
- Danny Tuesday, 25 Av 5768
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