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Someone took $1,300 from me without my permission. A few years he paid it back to me with $50 extra. Is it considered interest?

 

Question:

Someone took money from me; about $1,300; without my permission. They took a few years to pay it back to me. When they finished paying it back, they paid me $50 extra. Do I have to give that back to them? Is it considered interest?

 

Answer:

First of all, if they gave it to you by mistake, due to a miscalculation or the like, you must return the money to them.

If they gave it to you as compensation for the time that they had the money in their hands, in other words, interest, then it would depend:

If you did not give him the money for any purpose, and you never turned the debt into a loan, you would be permitted to keep the money.

However, if you gave him the money to buy something and he used it for himself, or you turned it into a loan, it would be forbidden for him to give you the interest and for you to receive it, but you need not return it after the fact.

If your case does not fit the above or if the answer to your question is still not clear, just reply to this response.

 

Sources:

דינא דידן מפורש להדיא בתשובות הרשב”א ח”א סימן תתקל”ח הו”ד בבדק הבית בב”י סימן קע”ז ששומר שהשתמש במעות המפקיד שלא ברשותו הרי הוא גזלן ואם רצה ליתן דבר מעצמו למפקיד אין בו משום ריבית. וכן הוא בשו”ע שם סי”ט. ובטעם הדבר עיין ש”ך שם סקמ”ב. וכ”ה בחו”מ סי’ רצב ובסמ”ע סקכ”א. וכן הוא בכל גזלן כל זמן שהמעות לא באו לידו בתורת הלואה. ואין להקשות מרמ”א שם ס”ה דהוי ריבית – כמו שתירץ החוו”ד בביאורים סקי”ט ובעצי הלבונה שם, דהתם שאני שיש לו חלק מהעיסקא בתורת הלואה.

 

 

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