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QUESTION

Washington, D.C.

Rabbi Linzer, one person wants to lend a large sum of money (short term loan) to a someone. The lender will withdraw money from an investment account to do this. In order to liquidate the investments, the lender  will have a tax penalty and also have opportunity costs because he wont be making money over the course of the short term loan. I assume it is ribit to charge for the opportunity costs. Can the borrower pay the capital gains tax penalties that will result or is this considered ribit as well? Thank you.

ANSWER

Payment to enable the loan, even before the loan, is ריבית מוקדמת. There is a debate between Rambam and Rosh how explicit this has to be, but it seems that it is pretty explicit in your case.  ריבית מוקדמת is assur miderabanan. If the money/gift will be given back if the loan doesn’t take place it would be ריבית קצוצה and forbidden mid’orayta.