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Ribbis in Unexpected Places

 Avissar Family Ribbis Initiative

Many common financial transactions involve ribbis, so pitfalls abound for the unaware. Following are some common business activities that can, depending on the circumstances, constitute ribbis.

COSIGNING cosigning on a loan or car lease, even where the lender isn’t Jewish or is a publicly-traded financial institution

CREDIT CARDS using a friend’s credit card

STRAW PURCHASING purchasing a home in someone else’s name

PARTNERS borrowing done by one partner on behalf of the partnership

LATE FEES charging ongoing late fees in a contract (a one-time late fee for each occur­rence is permitted)

RETURNABLE ITEMS selling goods with an unconditional money-back guarantee

CONVERSION borrowing money in a foreign currency

FACTORING purchasing receivables

CASH DISCOUNTS charging dif­ferent prices for cash and credit

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT of­fering a heavily discounted price for paying before a certain date

PRE-PAYMENT DISCOUNT paying today to lock in a reduced price for an item that is not yet available

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