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Business Question

Rabbi Chaim Tabasky5 Tammuz 5764
316
Question
Shalom Aleycham, I have a business shaylia, Case: Two partners close a business down, yet have an outstanding balance with the credit card company to payoff... Now for ex: the balance was 24,000 and each one owes $12,000. The 1st guy payed his share to the C.C. company and the 2nd guy couldn’t afford to pay the amount so time went on the C.C. company sent a letter to the 2nd guy, suing him to go to court... The 2nd guy tried to settle with the company on an amount which was lower then the amount owed instead of going to court... Question: Does the 2nd guy have to split the reduced settled amount with total of the 1st guys’ amount and pay the 1st guy back money b/c of the savings? For ex: 2nd guy payed $5,000 in settled money to the C.C. company and the 1st guy payed $12,000 does the 2nd guy have to divide $17,000 between his ex-partner and pay $5,000 to the C.C. company and $3,500 to his partner?
Answer
Although there are several factors which would influence a final halachic decision, the basic rule is that if the original debt was occurred by the partnership, (as opposed to two individuals acting together) then the payment is owed by both and payment by one is on behalf of both. In that case the partner who had paid his share should benefit from the discount settlement arranged by the other partner. However, there are many circumstances which could change this outcome, and the case would have to be presented to a competent Dayan who would determine if there are other problems involved.
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