Q: Some building committees hang notices in their lobby with details of outstanding bills for specific families. The notice serves as a reminder to household heads to pay their dues, and also puts social pressure on those who evade payment. I am responsible for the building fund and one of the neighbors suggested that we hang such a poster (because of accumulated debts). I am worried that doing so constitutes lashon hara and may embarrass or hurt people. Therefore, I would like to ask if it is permissible to hang up such a notice in spite of the to’eles involved.
A: Though there are buildings that hang up such notices in their halls, it seems that it is nothing short of lashon hara, and involves other issurim as well.
When a building is struggling with accumulating debts, personal letters should be sent to those who have not paid their dues. A warning may be included stating that if the debt is not paid up by such and such date, the committee will have to turn the case over to the neighborhood Rav or beis din.
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