This year which is now coming to a close, 5775, is a Shemitah (Sabbatical) year.
Part of the observance of Shemitah includes the forgiving of loans. More than 2000 years ago, Hillel the Elder saw that people were avoiding giving loans as the Shemitah year neared. In order to encourage people to continue lending money, he instituted the pruzbul system. The Torah states that while all private debts are forgiven, public debts are exempt. The act of pruzbul makes private debts public and therefore redeemable. (See Loan Amnesty for more information on the origins of the pruzbul.)
Though the pruzbul is done on the eve of the Rosh Hashanah preceding the Shemitah year, according to many halachic authorities one should execute another pruzbul one year later, on the last day of the Shemitah (considering that the actual annulments of all debts transpires on that date).
The pruzbul can be done orally before three adult men who constitute a court. One approaches this "court" and states that he/she is transferring to them all debts which may be owed to him/her, thus making them collectable.
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