By definition, extortion is the practice of obtaining benefit through coercion. In most jurisdictions it is likely to constitute a criminal offense. Robbery is the simplest and most common form of extortion, although making unfounded threats in order to obtain an unfair business advantage is also a form of extortion.
Our 27-year old former landlord has threatened to “ruin my life”, called Jedi Joy a “whore” and he’s even threatened my 76-year old Mom, a health care worker living on social security unless we give him $12,000 and let him keep our $4,000 security deposit.
Is that extortion?
Extortion is sometimes called the "protection racket" because the racketeers often phrase their demands as payment for "protection" from (real or hypothetical) threats from unspecified other parties; though often, and almost always, such "protection" is simply abstinence of harm from the same party, and such is implied in the "protection" offer. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime. In some jurisdictions, actually obtaining the benefit is not required to commit the offense, and making a threat of violence which refers to a requirement of a payment of money or property to halt future violence is sufficient to commit the offense.
When we did not respond to our ex-landlords initial threats, he applied the $4,000 security deposit to the August rent.