1

In the following situations, despite the fact that he possesses a promissory note, a lender may collect payment only after taking an oath that resembles one required by Scriptural Law:

a) a person who impairs the legal power of a promissory note;

b) a person who produces a promissory note that one witness testifies has been paid.

c) a person who seeks to collect payment outside the borrower's presence;

d) a person who expropriates property from purchasers;

e) a person who seeks to collect a debt from heirs, whether below majority or above majority.

When such a person comes to take the oath, we tell him: "Take the oath and collect your due." If the loan was not due until a specific time, and he demands payment on the day the loan was due, he may collect payment without taking an oath. Once the day the loan is due has passed, he may collect payment only after taking an oath.

א

הַפּוֹגֵם אֶת שְׁטָרוֹ. אוֹ שֶׁעֵד אֶחָד מֵעִיד עַל שְׁטָרוֹ שֶׁהוּא פָּרוּעַ. וְהַבָּא לִפָּרַע שֶׁלֹּא בִּפְנֵי הַלּוֶֹה. וְהַטּוֹרֵף מִיַּד הַלּוֹקֵחַ. וְהַנִּפְרָעִים מִן הַיּוֹרֵשׁ בֵּין קָטָן בֵּין גָּדוֹל. לֹא יִפָּרַע אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבוּעָה כְּעֵין שֶׁל תּוֹרָה. (וְאוֹמֵר) לוֹ כְּשֶׁיִּתְבַּע הִשָּׁבַע וְאַחַר כָּךְ תִּטּל. וְאִם הָיָה הַחוֹב לִזְמַן וְתָבַע בִּזְמַנּוֹ יִפָּרַע שֶׁלֹּא בִּשְׁבוּעָה. עָבַר זְמַנּוֹ לֹא יִגְבֶּה אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבוּעָה:

2

The following rules apply when a person demands payment from a colleague for a debt recorded in a promissory note, the borrower claims that he paid this promissory note, and the possessor of the note claims that he did not pay anything. The court tells the borrower: "Pay him."

If the borrower demands: "Have him take an oath for me that I did not pay him and then collect the debt," the court requires the lender to take an oath while holding a sacred object, that he did not pay him at all or that he paid him only such-and-such. Afterwards, he may collect his claim. If the lender is a Torah scholar, the court does not require him to take an oath.

ב

הַתּוֹבֵעַ אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ לְפָרְעוֹ וְטָעַן הַלּוֶֹה שֶׁפָּרַע שְׁטָר זֶה אוֹ מִקְצָתוֹ וּבַעַל הַשְּׁטָר אוֹמֵר לֹא פָּרַעְתָּ כְּלוּם אוֹמְרִים לוֹ שַׁלֵּם לוֹ. טָעַן הַלּוֶֹה וְאָמַר יִשָּׁבַע לִי שֶׁלֹּא פְּרַעְתִּיו וְיִטּל מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתוֹ בִּנְקִיטַת חֵפֶץ שֶׁלֹּא פְּרָעוֹ כְּלוּם אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא פְּרָעוֹ אֶלָּא כָּךְ וְכָךְ וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִטּל. וְאִם הָיָה הַמַּלְוֶה תַּלְמִיד חָכָם אֵין נִזְקָקִין לִשְׁבוּעָתוֹ:

3

There is a difference of opinion among the Geonim in the following situation. The lender produces a promissory note whose authenticity has been verified. The borrower claims: "This promissory note is false, I never wrote it," "This promissory note involves interest," "... or a shade of interest," "It was given on faith," "I wrote it with the intention of borrowing, but I never took the loan" - i.e., he issues a claim that if acknowledged by the lender would nullify the promissory note. The lender maintains that the promissory note is genuine and that the borrower is issuing a false claim. The borrower demands that the lender take an oath before collecting.

There is one opinion that rules that the holder of the promissory note is obligated to take an oath that resembles a Scriptural oath, just as when the borrower claimed that he paid the debt. My teachers by contrast ruled that the lender should not be compelled to take an oath unless the borrower claims that he paid him. The rationale is that he acknowledged the validity of the promissory note, and that debt is fit to be repaid. We do not, by contrast, accept the borrower's word with regard to all these other claims to nullify the legal power of a promissory note whose authenticity has been verified. Instead, the borrower should pay, and afterwards lodge any claim against the lender that he desires. If the lender acknowledges the claim, he will return the money to him. If he denies it, he will take a sh'vuat hesset. My opinion also leans towards this view.

ג

הוֹצִיא עָלָיו שְׁטָר מְקֻיָּם וְהַלּוֶֹה טוֹעֵן וְאוֹמֵר שְׁטָר מְזֻיָּף הוּא וּמֵעוֹלָם לֹא כָּתַבְתִּי שְׁטָר זֶה. אוֹ שֶׁטָּעַן שֶׁחוֹב זֶה רִבִּית הוּא אוֹ אֲבַק רִבִּית. אוֹ שֶׁטָּעַן שֶׁהוּא שְׁטַר אֲמָנָה אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר כָּתַבְתִּי לִלְווֹת וְלֹא לָוִיתִי. כְּלָלוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר טוֹעֵן טַעֲנָה שֶׁאִם הוֹדָה בַּעַל הַשְּׁטָר הָיָה הַשְּׁטָר בָּטֵל וְהַמַּלְוֶה עוֹמֵד בִּשְׁטָרוֹ וְאוֹמֵר שֶׁזֶּה שֶׁקֶר טוֹעֵן וְאָמַר הַלּוֶֹה יִשָּׁבַע לִי וְיִטּל הֲרֵי זוֹ מַחְלֹקֶת בֵּין הַגְּאוֹנִים יֵשׁ מִי שֶׁהוֹרָה שֶׁחַיָּב בַּעַל הַשְּׁטָר לְהַשְׁבִּיעַ כְּעֵין שֶׁל תּוֹרָה כְּמִי שֶׁטָּעַן עָלָיו שֶׁפְּרָעוֹ. וְרַבּוֹתַי הוֹרוּ שֶׁלֹּא יִשָּׁבַע הַמַּלְוֶה אֶלָּא אִם טָעַן עָלָיו הַלּוֶֹה שֶׁפְּרָעוֹ בִּלְבַד. שֶׁהֲרֵי הוֹדָה בַּשְּׁטָר וּלְפֵרָעוֹן הוּא עוֹמֵד. אֲבָל כָּל אֵלּוּ הַטְּעָנוֹת לֹא כָּל הֵימֶנּוּ לְבַטֵּל שְׁטָר מְקֻיָּם אֶלָּא יְשַׁלֵּם וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִטְעֹן עַל הַמַּלְוֶה בְּמַה שֶּׁיִּרְצֶה שֶׁאִם יוֹדֶה יַחְזִיר לוֹ וְאִם כָּפַר יִשָּׁבַע הֶסֵּת. וְלָזֶה דַּעְתִּי נוֹטָה:

4

Our Sages issued these rulings in the following situation: A lender produced a promissory note, demanding payment from a colleague. He claims that he was not paid at all. The borrower claims that he repaid half the debt, and witnesses testify that the entire debt was repaid. The borrower must take an oath and then pay the other half. The rationale is that he admits to owing a portion of the debt. He is not considered to be comparable to a person who returns a lost object, because the promissory note causes him to be afraid. The lender may expropriate this half of the debt only from landed property that is within the borrower's possession. He may not attach property that has been sold. The rationale is that the purchasers will say: "We rely on the testimony of the witnesses and they have nullified the legal power of this promissory note."

ד

הַמּוֹצִיא שְׁטַר חוֹב עַל חֲבֵרוֹ מַלְוֶה אוֹמֵר לֹא נִפְרַעְתִּי כְּלוּם וְלוֶֹה אוֹמֵר פָּרַעְתִּי מֶחֱצָה וְהָעֵדִים מְעִידִים שֶׁפְּרָעוֹ כֻּלּוֹ נִשְׁבָּע הַלּוֶֹה וְנוֹתֵן מֶחֱצָה שֶׁהֲרֵי הוֹדָה בְּמִקְצָת וְאֵינוֹ כְּמֵשִׁיב אֲבֵדָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵימַת הַשְּׁטָר עָלָיו. וְאֵין הַמַּלְוֶה גּוֹבֶה הַמֶּחֱצָה אֶלָּא מִבְּנֵי חוֹרִין שֶׁהֲרֵי הַלָּקוֹחוֹת אוֹמְרִים אָנוּ עַל הָעֵדִים נִסְמֹךְ וַהֲרֵי בִּטְּלוּ שְׁטָר זֶה:

5

The following rules apply when a lender produces a promissory note whose authenticity he is not able to verify, and the borrower says: "It is true that I wrote this promissory note, but I repaid it," "It was given on faith," "I wrote it with the intention of borrowing, but I never took the loan," or another claim of this nature. Since the borrower could have claimed, "This never happened," and our acceptance of the promissory note is dependent on his statements, his word is accepted. He may take a sh'vuat hesset and be freed of responsibility.

If the lender is able to verify the authenticity of the promissory note afterwards in court, it is considered as any other promissory note.

ה

הוֹצִיא עָלָיו שְׁטַר חוֹב שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְקַיְּמוֹ וְאָמַר הַלּוֶֹה אֱמֶת שֶׁאֲנִי כָּתַבְתִּי שְׁטָר זֶה אֲבָל פְּרַעְתִּיו אוֹ אֲמָנָה הוּא אוֹ כָּתַבְתִּי לִלְווֹת וַעֲדַיִן לֹא לָוִיתִי וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה הוֹאִיל וְאִם רָצָה אָמַר לֹא הָיוּ דְּבָרִים מֵעוֹלָם וַהֲרֵי מִפִּיו נִתְקַיֵּם הֲרֵי זֶה נֶאֱמָן וְיִשָּׁבַע הֶסֵּת וְיִפָּטֵר. וְאִם קִיְּמוֹ הַמַּלְוֶה אַחַר כָּךְ בְּבֵית דִּין הֲרֵי הוּא כִּשְׁאָר הַשְּׁטָרוֹת:

6

The lender's claim is not accepted in the following situation. The lender produces a promissory note whose authenticity has been verified, and the borrower claims: "It is a forgery, and I never wrote it," or "It was given on faith." The lender states: "That is true, but I had an acceptable promissory note and it was lost." Although it was the lender who invalidated his promissory note, and had he desired, he could have said: "It is not a forgery," for its authenticity was verified by the court, he cannot use it to expropriate property at all. Instead, the borrower may take a sh'vuat hesset and be freed of responsibility, for the promissory note is likened to a shard.

ו

הוֹצִיא עָלָיו שְׁטָר מְקֻיָּם וְאָמַר הַלּוֶֹה מְזֻיָּף הוּא וּמֵעוֹלָם לֹא כְּתַבְתִּיו אוֹ שְׁטַר אֲמָנָה הוּא וְאָמַר הַמַּלְוֶה כֵּן הַדְּבָרִים אֲבָל שְׁטָר כָּשֵׁר הָיָה לִי וְאָבַד אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַמַּלְוֶה הוּא שֶׁשָּׁבַר אֶת שְׁטָרוֹ וְאִלּוּ רָצָה אָמַר אֵינוֹ מְזֻיָּף שֶׁהֲרֵי נִתְקַיֵּם בְּבֵית דִּין אֵינוֹ גּוֹבֶה בּוֹ כְּלוּם אֶלָּא נִשְׁבָּע הַלּוֶֹה הֶסֵּת וְנִפְטָר שֶׁהֲרֵי זֶה הַשְּׁטָר כְּחֶרֶס הוּא חָשׁוּב:

7

When a promissory note was used for a loan and then repaid, it may not be used again. For the lien it created was already waived, and it is likened to a shard.

ז

שְׁטָר שֶׁלָּוָה בּוֹ וּפְרָעוֹ אֵינוֹ חוֹזֵר וְלוֶֹה בּוֹ שֶׁכְּבָר נִמְחַל שִׁעְבּוּדוֹ וְנַעֲשָׂה כְּחֶרֶס:

8

The following laws apply when the lender produces a promissory note whose authenticity has been verified demanding payment from a colleague, the borrower replies: "Did I not pay you," and the lender answers: "You did, but I returned the money to you and then lent it to you a second time." The promissory note that he repaid is nullified, and it is likened to a shard.

If, however, the lender says: "I returned the money to you, because the coins were not good so that you could exchange them," he did not nullify the promissory note, and the lien it created still exists.

ח

הַמּוֹצִיא שְׁטַר חוֹב מְקֻיָּם עַל חֲבֵרוֹ וְאָמַר הַלּוֶֹה הֲלֹא פְּרָעְתִּיךָ וְאָמַר לוֹ הַמַּלְוֶה כֵּן הָיָה אֲבָל חָזַרְתִּי וְהֶחְזַרְתִּי לְךָ הַמָּעוֹת וְהִלְוֵיתִי אוֹתְךָ פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה הֲרֵי בָּטֵל הַשְּׁטָר שֶׁנִּפְרַע וַהֲרֵי הוּא כְּחֶרֶס. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר לוֹ הֶחְזַרְתִּי לְךָ הַמָּעוֹת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא הָיוּ טוֹבוֹת עַד שֶׁתַּחֲלִיפֵם לֹא בָּטֵל הַשְּׁטָר וַעֲדַיִן שִׁעְבּוּדוֹ קַיָּם:

9

A promissory note is disqualified in the following situation. A lender produces a promissory note whose authenticity has been verified that indicates that the borrower owes him a maneh. The borrower states: "Did I not pay in the presence of so-and-so and so-and-so." Those witnesses come and testify that the borrower indeed repaid the lender, but did not mention the promissory note. The lender replies: "It is true that you paid me, but you repaid me for another debt that you owed me." The lender's word is not accepted, and the promissory note is nullified.

When does the above apply? When the witnesses testify that the borrower gave the lender the money as repayment of a debt. If, however, they saw him give him money, but did not know whether it was given as repayment of a debt, for safekeeping or as a present different rules apply.

If the possessor of the promissory note says: "He never repaid me," he is established as a liar, and the promissory note is nullified. If he says: "It was payment for another debt," his word is accepted. He must take an oath and then he may collect the money mentioned in the promissory note. The rationale is that the borrower did not repay him in the presence of witnesses. Hence, since the borrower can claim: "You gave them to me as a present," his word is accepted if he says that the money was given him as repayment for another debt.

A promissory note is, by contrast, nullified in the following situation. The borrower told the lender: "This promissory note was composed for the price of a steer that I purchased from you, and you collected the money for its meat already." The lender replied: "Yes. The promissory note was composed for that purpose, but I collected the money for that debt with the understanding that the promissory note would apply to another debt that you owe me." The rationale is that the lender himself admitted that the debt mentioned in the promissory note was for the meat of the steer, and that he received payment for that debt. This applies even if there are no witnesses that the money was given for the payment of that debt. Hence, all that is necessary is that the borrower take a sh'vuat hesset that he paid the debt. Similar principles apply in all analogous situations.

ט

הוֹצִיא עָלָיו שְׁטָר מְקֻיָּם שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ עָלָיו מָנֶה וְאָמַר לוֹ הַלּוֶֹה הֲלֹא פְּרָעתִיךָ בִּפְנֵי פְּלוֹנִי וּפְלוֹנִי וּבָאוּ אֵלּוּ וְהֵעִידוּ שֶׁפְּרָעוֹ אֲבָל לֹא הִזְכִּיר לוֹ אֶת הַשְּׁטָר וְאָמַר לוֹ הַמַּלְוֶה כֵּן הוּא שֶׁפָּרַעְתָּ אֲבָל חוֹב אַחֵר פָּרַעְתָּ שֶׁהָיָה לִי אֶצְלְךָ הֲרֵי בָּטֵל הַשְּׁטָר. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁהֵעִידוּ שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ בְּתוֹרַת פֵּרָעוֹן אֲבָל אִם רָאוּהוּ נוֹתֵן לוֹ מָעוֹת וְלֹא יָדְעוּ אִם הוּא בְּתוֹרַת פֵּרָעוֹן אוֹ בְּתוֹרַת פִּקָּדוֹן אוֹ בְּתוֹרַת מַתָּנָה. אִם אָמַר בַּעַל הַשְּׁטָר לֹא הָיוּ דְּבָרִים מֵעוֹלָם הֲרֵי הֻחְזַק כַּפְרָן וּבָטֵל הַשְּׁטָר. וְאִם אָמַר פֵּרָעוֹן שֶׁל חוֹב אַחֵר הוּא הֲרֵי זֶה נֶאֱמָן וְנִשְׁבָּע וְנוֹטֵל מַה שֶׁבַּשְּׁטָר שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא פְּרָעוֹ בְּעֵדִים. מִתּוֹךְ שֶׁיָּכוֹל לוֹמַר מַתָּנָה נְתָנָם לִי נֶאֱמָן לוֹמַר פֵּרָעוֹן שֶׁל חוֹב אַחֵר הֵן. אָמַר לוֹ הַלּוֶֹה וַהֲלֹא שְׁטַר חוֹב זֶה דְּמֵי שׁוֹר שֶׁלָּקַחְתִּי מִמְּךָ הוּא וְאַתָּה גָּבִיתָ דְּמֵי בְּשָׂרוֹ. וְאָמַר לוֹ בַּעַל הַשְּׁטָר כֵּן אֲנִי גָּבִיתִי אֶת דָּמָיו מֵחוֹב אַחֵר שֶׁהָיָה לִי אֶצְלְךָ. הוֹאִיל וְהוֹדָה מֵעַצְמוֹ שֶׁדְּמֵי הַשּׁוֹר הוּא הַחוֹב וּמִדָּמָיו נִפְרַע בָּטֵל הַשְּׁטָר. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין עָלָיו עֵדִים שֶׁפָּרַע מִדָּמוֹ יִשָּׁבַע הַלּוֶֹה הֶסֵּת שֶׁפְּרָעוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

10

When a lender produces a promissory note that is signed by one witness and the borrower claims that he paid the debt, the borrower is obligated to take an oath. And since he cannot take that oath, he must make financial restitution.

If the borrower demands of the lender: "Take an oath that I did not pay the debt," he must take the oath. The rationale is that even if two witnesses were signed on the promissory note and the borrower demanded: "Take an oath that I did not pay the debt," the lender would be obligated to take that oath, as we have explained.

י

הוֹצִיא עָלָיו שְׁטַר חוֹב בְּעֵד אֶחָד וְלוֶֹה טוֹעֵן פָּרַעְתִּי הֲרֵי זֶה מְחֻיָּב שְׁבוּעָה וְאֵינִי יָכוֹל לִשָּׁבַע וּמְשַׁלֵּם. טָעַן וְאָמַר יִשָּׁבַע לִי שֶׁלֹּא פְּרַעְתִּיו הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע שֶׁאֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ בַּשְּׁטָר שְׁנֵי עֵדִים וְאָמַר יִשָּׁבַע לִי שֶׁלֹּא פְּרַעְתִּיו הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

11

Similarly, my teachers ruled that when a person denies a loan supported by an oral commitment in a court, and one witness testifies that he borrowed the money, the defendant is required to take a Scriptural oath. If the defendant reversed his position and said: "Yes, I took the loan, but I repaid it," "... the lender waived payment in my favor," or "... owes me money because of another matter," we consider him to be a person who is required to take an oath, but who cannot take the oath, and must therefore make financial restitution.

יא

וְכֵן הוֹרוּ רַבּוֹתַי שֶׁהַכּוֹפֵר בְּמִלְוֶה עַל פֶּה בְּבֵית דִּין וּבָא עֵד אֶחָד שֶׁלָּוָה הֲרֵי זֶה יִשָּׁבַע שְׁבוּעַת הַתּוֹרָה. חָזַר וְאָמַר כֵּן הָיָה לָוִיתִי וּפָרַעְתִּי אוֹ מָחַל לִי אוֹ נִתְחַיֵּב לִי מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר הֲרֵי זֶה מְחֻיָּב שְׁבוּעָה וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִשָּׁבַע וּמְשַׁלֵּם:

12

The following rules apply when a defendant claims that he paid a promissory note, but says: "Let the lender take an oath. If he does, he can collect the debt." We tell the defendant: "Bring your money to the court. Then he will take the oath and collect the debt." If the defendant does not have the funds to pay, we require him to take an oath, as ordained by the Geonim, that he has no financial resources. When he acquires resources, he must pay the creditor, but first he may require him to take an oath that the debtor did not repay him previously. Afterwards, the debtor must pay him.

יב

מִי שֶׁטָּעַן שֶׁפָּרַע הַשְּׁטָר וְאָמַר יִשָּׁבַע הַמַּלְוֶה וְיִטּל אוֹמְרִים לוֹ הָבֵא מְעוֹתָיו וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִשָּׁבַע וְיִטּל. אִם אֵין לוֹ כְּלוּם לְשַׁלֵּם מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתוֹ כְּתַקָּנַת הַגְּאוֹנִים שֶׁאֵין לוֹ וְלִכְשֶׁתַּשִּׂיג יָדוֹ יִתֵּן לְבַעַל חוֹבוֹ וְיַשְׁבִּיעוֹ שֶׁלֹּא פָּרַע וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִתֵּן לוֹ:

13

The following laws apply when a person is owed a debt by a colleague that is supported by a promissory note, the promissory note becomes lost, but the witnesses are still present. Even though the debt was affirmed in the presence of the witnesses by a kinyan, if the borrower claims that he paid the debt, he is required only to take a sh'vuat hesset.

My teachers ruled that even if the debt was given for a specific time, and the due date had not yet arrived, when a promissory note was written, it is no longer in his possession and the borrower claims that he repaid the debt, the borrower's word is accepted provided that he takes an oath that he paid the lender. The rationale is that we suspect that he paid him and for that reason he tore the promissory note or destroyed it by fire.

Similarly, my teachers ruled that even if the promissory note is in the possession of another person and the borrower claims: "It fell from my possession after I paid it," he must take a sh'vuat hesset, and then he is released from all obligations. This applies even if the due date of the promissory note has not arrived. Since the promissory note is not in the possession of the lender, we do not operate under the presumption that the debt is outstanding.

יג

מִי שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ חוֹב עַל חֲבֵרוֹ בִּשְׁטָר וְאָבַד הַשְּׁטָר וַהֲרֵי הָעֵדִים קַיָּמִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁקָּנוּ מִיָּדוֹ וְטָעַן שֶׁפָּרַע הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת. וְהוֹרוּ רַבּוֹתַי שֶׁאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה הַחוֹב לִזְמַן וַעֲדַיִן לֹא הִגִּיעַ זְמַנּוֹ לְהִפָּרַע הוֹאִיל וְכָתְבוּ לוֹ הַשְּׁטָר וְאֵין בְּיָדוֹ שְׁטָר וְהַלּוֶֹה טוֹעֵן פָּרַעְתִּי נֶאֱמָן וְנִשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת שֶׁפְּרָעוֹ שֶׁאָנוּ חוֹשְׁשִׁין שֶׁמָּא פְּרָעוֹ וּלְפִיכָךְ קָרַע הַשְּׁטָר אוֹ שְׂרָפוֹ. וְכֵן הוֹרוּ רַבּוֹתַי שֶׁאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה הַשְּׁטָר יוֹצֵא מִתַּחַת יְדֵי אַחֵר וְהַלּוֶֹה טוֹעֵן מִמֶּנִּי נָפַל אַחַר שֶׁפָּרַעְתִּי אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא בְּתוֹךְ זְמַנּוֹ נִשְׁבָּע הֶסֵּת וְנִפְטָר שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁאֵין הַשְּׁטָר בְּיַד הַמַּלְוֶה אֵין שָׁם חֲזָקָה:

14

The following laws apply when both the borrower and the lender are holding on to the promissory note, and the lender says: "It is mine and I took it out to demand payment from you," and the borrower says: "I repaid you and it fell from my possession." If the authenticity of the promissory note can be verified, both claimants are each required to take an oath that no less than half the value of the promissory note belongs to them. The borrower then pays half. If the authenticity of the promissory note cannot be verified, the borrower must take a sh'vuat hesset, and then he is released from all obligations.

יד

שְׁנַיִם שֶׁהֵן אוֹחֲזִין בִּשְׁטָר הַמַּלְוֶה אוֹמֵר שֶׁלִּי הוּא וְהוֹצֵאתִיו לְהִפָּרַע בּוֹ מִמְּךָ וְהַלּוֶֹה אוֹמֵר פְּרַעְתִּיו וּמִמֶּנִּי נָפַל. אִם הָיָה הַשְּׁטָר שֶׁיָּכוֹל לְקַיְּמוֹ זֶה יִשָּׁבַע שֶׁאֵין לוֹ בְּדָמִים אֵלּוּ פָּחוֹת מֵחֶצְיָן וְזֶה יִשָּׁבַע שֶׁאֵין לוֹ בַּדָּמִים פָּחוֹת מֵחֶצְיָן וִישַׁלֵּם הַלּוֶֹה מֶחֱצָה. וְאִם אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְקַיְּמוֹ יִשָּׁבַע הַלּוֶֹה הֶסֵּת שֶׁפְּרָעוֹ וְיֵלֵךְ לוֹ:

15

Our Sages ordained that precautions be adopted to protect the borrower's interest in the following situation. A person claims of his colleague: "You owe me a maneh." The colleague responds: "I do not owe you anything" or "I paid you." The plaintiff demands: "Take a sh'vuat hesset for me," and the borrower responds: "You have a promissory note concerning this debt. You want to compel me to take an oath first and then produce the promissory note and use it to collect payment."

We tell the lender: "Produce the promissory note." If the lender says: "I never had a promissory note against this person," or "I had a promissory note and I lost it," my teachers ruled that we tell the lender: "Nullify the legal power of any promissory note you possess until the present time. Afterwards, you can require him to take a sh'vuat hesset. Alternatively, have a conditional ban of ostracism issued and go and seek until you find the promissory note.

טו

הָאוֹמֵר לַחֲבֵרוֹ מָנֶה יֵשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ וְהַלָּה אוֹמֵר אֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי כְּלוּם אוֹ שֶׁאוֹמֵר פְּרַעְתִּיךָ. אָמַר לוֹ הַתּוֹבֵעַ הִשָּׁבַע לִי הֶסֵּת. אָמַר לוֹ הַנִּתְבָּע וַהֲלֹא שְׁטָר יֵשׁ לְךָ עָלַי וְאַתָּה רוֹצֶה לְהַשְׁבִּיעַ אוֹתִי תְּחִלָּה וְאַחַר כָּךְ תּוֹצִיא הַשְּׁטָר הַפָּרוּעַ וְתִגְבֶּה בּוֹ. אוֹמְרִים לוֹ הָבֵא הַשְּׁטָר. אָמַר הַמַּלְוֶה אֵין לִי שְׁטָר עָלָיו מֵעוֹלָם אוֹ שְׁטָר הָיָה לִי וְאָבַד הוֹרוּ רַבּוֹתַי שֶׁאוֹמְרִים לַמַּלְוֶה בַּטֵּל כָּל שְׁטָר שֶׁיֵּשׁ לְךָ קֹדֶם זְמַן זֶה וְאַחַר כָּךְ תַּשְׁבִּיעֵהוּ הֶסֵּת אוֹ הַחֲרֵם חֵרֶם סְתָם וְלֵךְ וּבַקֵּשׁ עַד שֶׁתִּמְצָא הַשְּׁטָר: