Extortion is a threat to do something unlawful
While threats to do something that's harmful for you are a key component of extortion, those threats generally (there are additional, separate provisions for threatening to exposing secrets etc) need to be unlawful .
For example, if I haven't paid the bills for some service and they send a letter "pay up or we'll disconnect you, bill you a penalty, and sue you" that's not extortion because they're allowed to disconnect me, assess contractual penalties, and sue me in court. However, if they send a letter saying "pay up or we'll disconnect you, and kick your dog while we do so" then that might be treated as extortion because it includes a threat of unlawful violence.
For a random jurisdiction example, let's take a look at the California Penal code (emphasis mine):
- (a) Extortion is the obtaining of property or other consideration from another, with his or her consent, or the obtaining of an official act of a public officer, induced by a wrongful use of force or fear, or under color of official right.
Take note that rightful use of force or fear is not covered.
- Fear, such as will constitute extortion, may be induced by a threat of any of the following: 1. To do an unlawful injury to the person or property of the individual threatened or of a third person.
Threats to do lawful injury - i.e. taking lawful acts that will harm the other person (or, more likely, their property) in some way - are not covered by this section, and are not extortion if they don't fall under one of the other prohibited actions:
- To accuse the individual threatened, or a relative of his or her, or a member of his or her family, of a crime.
- To expose, or to impute to him, her, or them a deformity, disgrace, or crime.
- To expose a secret affecting him, her, or them.
- To report his, her, or their immigration status or suspected immigration status.
The other parts that can define extortion clearly don't apply here, only the first (threat of unlawful injury to person or property) is under discussion.