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Sa’if 6, Mechaber: The debtor dies before the maturity date of the loan. The lender sues the debtor’s heirs before the maturity date. The heirs produce a receipt which records that the debtor repaid the debt before he died. This situation is discussed in Choshen Mishpat 71.

NER EYAL: Although there is a legal presumption that a debtor does not prepay a debt, it is not an irrefutable presumption. It can be rebutted by evidence to the contrary. The heirs in the present situation are permitted to bring witnesses who testify to the fact that they saw the debtor repay the loan, before the maturity date, when he was still live. Or they can produce a receipt on which witnesses have signed certifying the repayment of the loan. The presumption that a debtor does not repay a loan will have the effect of making the court weigh up this evidence very carefully, but if they are satisfied the evidence is genuine and not fabricated, the legal presumption will have been rebutted and judgment will be entered for the debtor and his heirs.


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Raphael Grunfeld received semicha in Yoreh Yoreh from Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem of America and in Yadin Yadin from Rav Dovid Feinstein. A partner at the Wall Street law firm of Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP, Rabbi Grunfeld is the author of “Ner Eyal: A Guide to Seder Nashim, Nezikin, Kodashim, Taharot and Zerayim” and “Ner Eyal: A Guide to the Laws of Shabbat and Festivals in Seder Moed.” Questions for the author can be sent to