Maryland AG investigating Kushner Companies over tenant debt collection practices: report

Real estate firm says it is cooperating with the inquiry
October 30, 2017 09:00AM

Jared Kushner and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frost

The Attorney General in Maryland is investigating Kushner Companies over allegations the company used predatory tactics to collect debts from tenants.

The investigation does not mean that charges will be filed, and a company spokesperson said Kushner is cooperating with Attorney General Brian Frosh’s inquiry, CNN reported.

“We have been working with the Maryland Attorney General’s Office to provide information in response to its request,” a spokesperson for Kushner told CNN. “We are in compliance with all state and local laws.”

In May, an investigation by the New York Times and ProPublica found that a Kushner subsidiary – JK2 Westminster LLC – used aggressive tactics to collect money from mostly poor tenants, including filing hundreds of lawsuits, many of which were on shaky grounds, and pushing for tenants to be arrested.

Tenants of the Baltimore-area complex filed a class-action suit against the firm’s property management arm in September.

Kushner defended its methods, with CFO Jennifer McLean telling the Baltimore Sun earlier this year that the company followed “guidelines consistent with industry standards” and “only takes legal action against a tenant when absolutely necessary.”

A financial disclosure form that Jared Kushner filed shows the Westminster property generates income of $1.6 million. Westminster runs 17 properties in Maryland.

Here in New York, Kushner Companies and partners CIM Group and LIVWRK are looking for more than $600 million to finance their 737-unit residential project at 85 Jay Street in Dumbo, as The Real Deal originally reported. [CNN] – Rich Bockmann