Kushner Companies and its affiliates have sought the civil arrest of 105 former tenants in Maryland since 2013, making the firm the state’s most frequent user of this debt collection strategy.
The New York-based company and the affiliates tied to its 17 apartment complexes in Maryland have used body attachments — arrests of former tenants who owe rent and other debts — more than any other landlord in the state, the Baltimore Sun reported. Of the judge-approved body attachments, 20 former Kushner tenants have been detained. Representatives for Kushner, whose CEO Jared Kushner resigned in January to become a senior adviser to President Trump, said that the tactic is a last resort.
Landlords request body attachments to force tenants to appear in court. Tenants can be held on bond, and if they can’t pay up, they can be put in jail.
Opponents of the practice argue that it essentially jails tenants for being poor and that many are not aware of the court date or the debt attached to it before they are arrested. But Wayne Norman Jr., an attorney who represents landlords, said body attachments can sometimes be the only way to compel tenants to show up in court to discuss their debts.
“It has nothing to do with owing money,” he said. “It has everything to do with disobeying court orders and disrespecting judges.”