In many cases we find that though the debtor may have the means of paying back a loan but he deliberately delays the payment or tries to avoid it.
The following ahadith serve the purpose of guiding such people:
Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates the Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, ’Delay in payment on the part of a rich man is oppression/injustice’. (Sahih-al-Bukhari, # 2400)
Imam–al-Bukhari (ra) narrates that it is mentioned that Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, ‘Any delay in the payment on the part of a person who has the means opens the way for his punishment and disrepute’. (Sahih-al-Bukhari-# 5/78).
Abdullah-bin-Amr reported that the Apostle of Allah said, ‘Every sin of a martyr shall be forgiven, except debt.’ (Muslim)
Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah’s Apostle said, ‘The soul of the believer keeps hanging with his debt till it is paid’. (Ahmad, Tirmizi, Ibn Majah)
So we find that a person who affords to pay back his loan but abstains from doing so is liable to punishment and disrepute. However, his punishment depends of a court ruling and it does not imply being physically abused by the lender. The second penalty for such a rich defaulter is of disrepute. Definitely, the lender has the right to speak to such a rich defaulter is a harsh way. Besides this, the defaulter is also likely to face ignominy in the society due to his misdeed.
In the light of many ahadith, the Islamic scholars have permitted the creditor to confiscate the items of the loan defaulter and give them back when he returns the principal amount. The creditor is also permitted to sell an item and recover his loan amount from it. The above mentioned fatwas can be found in Imdad-al-fatwa, 3/446, Fatwa Mahumudiyya, 12/282 and Ahsan-al-fatwa, 7/174
However, the two points which should be kept in one’s mind while trying to retrieve one’s loan from a rich defaulter is that:
One should not transgress the Shariah injunctions
On should not break the law of the land also by doing unlawful things such as breaking into the house of the defaulter and confiscating his items or by physically assaulting him.
Keep Me In Your Prayers.