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Shabbat Parashat Haazinu| 5763
Various Levels of Areivim (Co-signers)
We have mentioned in the last few weeks that one should exhaust reasonable efforts to receive payment from the borrower before approaching the areiv. It is time to point out that this halacha depends on the type of areiv who is involved.
Usually an areiv does not take the place of the borrower but provides an additional level of security for the lender. However, an areiv can obligate himself on the level of the borrower or beyond. If the co-signer says that he commits to be a kablan (literally, a receiver [of the money]) then he can be approached instead of the borrower, if the lender so desires (Shulchan Aruch 129:15). The Shulchan Aruch and Rama (ibid.:18) discuss which of the different possible terminologiess would obligate him in this way.
If the kablan (Reuven) physically received the money from the lender (Levi), then even if it was clear that he intended to give the money to someone else (Shimon) to use, Reuven is solely, directly responsible (ibid.:19). (This is probably most common in the case of parents who borrow money on behalf of their children). Only in a case where Shimon is obligated to pay back Reuven, and Reuven does not have money to pay, can the lender (Levi) approach Shimon (ibid.).
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