Author Topic: Missing in the merc trade- Repo men!  (Read 328 times)

Colt Ward

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Missing in the merc trade- Repo men!
« on: 12 January 2018, 21:28:38 »
Topic on merc unit start up and how many are owner/operator mechwarriors caused me to wonder . . .

By the start up rules and in game, while quite a few mercenary mechwarriors before the Clan invasion were owners afterwards that number should have fallen off.  Mid 3055s as the Houses start shifting from feudal service to national machines issued to soldiers in units so to would the shift among mercenaries though likely to a lesser extent.  We also start getting blurbs in new mechs in TROs 3055/3058/3060/3067 where it is specifically mentioned that the mech was declined by a House and so sold to the merc market (Garm), were specifically built for mercs (Bandersnatch/ Cronus/Verfolger), or that a company cut a special deal with limited mercs (Spector).  So those mechs bought in would be company assets rather than being owned by individuals . . .

 . . . and in some cases, they would be paid for by loans either through the manufacturer (GMAC for those Avatars or Marauders!), through lending establishments on mercenary worlds, or by loans through the House governments.  Like citing GMAC, I would expect it to be a lot like loans from car manufacturers which might explain where their profit margin has been hiding.  Merc world lending establishments would IMO run the gamut from legitimate (First Bank of Harlech) to Carmine Falcone (loan shark!).  For the GMAC-like organizations or the banks on hiring halls, I imagine your MRBC rating would factor heavily into your interest rate.  Collateral would be other military equipment, such as either the merc unit founders' mechs, ASF or tanks or the other company owned equipment that dispossessed operate.  Would terms of the loans adjust interest rates depending on what type of contract the merc's unit is on?  A lower rate for garrison or cadre?  slightly higher for pirate hunting in the periphery?  VERY high for assault or raid?  What other sort of terms might lenders put in the contracts?

What happens though when the unit's had a run of bad luck or their finances were tight and the mercs had not paid in months or the loan is called due.  With the default of the loan, who goes and collects the equipment?

The only time afaik in fiction where we see this sort of thing happen is when the Blakists instigate the seizure of Avanti's Angels' equipment under false pretenses but the request from the creditors obliges local governments to cooperate in the seizure.  I cannot remember if one of the Bounty Hunter stories is about recovering a mech or a mechwarrior for their family.  The intro in the Empires Aflame deals with some asset seizure specialists that where working for Stone but we never get to see it actually happen.

To take back mechs or tanks from defaulting units involuntarily would require IMO some intrusion specialists who can pilot or drive whatever, then escort and finally a plan for securing the repo'd asset- either secure storage under lawful supervision or dash to a DS that will burn for orbit as soon as its loaded.  The repo teams could either be operating on a contract from a lender (sort of security consultant deal- Blackwater), as independents taking contracts for their special skills on a one time basis, or as bounty hunters.

If they were regular mercenaries taking that sort of contract, either completely or hired on as escorts . . . how would they be treated by other mercs afterward?
Colt Ward

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snakespinner

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Re: Missing in the merc trade- Repo men!
« Reply #1 on: 13 January 2018, 01:16:23 »
There have been stories in canon about liquidation houses where mercs have gone bust and there equipment sold.
2nd option become a pirate to avoid that confiscation.
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Archangel

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Re: Missing in the merc trade- Repo men!
« Reply #2 on: 13 January 2018, 09:12:39 »
Most units that are in debt and are in danger of having their equipment repossessed would jump the border to a rival state who would happily tell the banks to get lost.  Unfortunately for Bad Dream (?) their flight to the FWL to escape Lyran debts ended badly when the FWL joined the reborn SL and eventually forced the unit to pay off most of their outstanding debts by handing over most of their fleet.

In most cases where mercenaries stopped paying their debts and refused to hand over the collateral, I would imagine the banks using their influence with the government to get the House military to force the mercs to turn the equipment over rather than turn to civilian debt collectors.  After all if a bank is wealthy enough to loan money to mercenary units (especially given the risk of their chosen employment ie death is a high probability), the bank is likely to have considerable influence with politicians both locally and on the national level.  More importantly the bank isn't likely to have to pay the House unit a recovery fee (although small rewards to key officers are likely).
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CrossfirePilot

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Re: Missing in the merc trade- Repo men!
« Reply #3 on: 13 January 2018, 11:18:46 »
Makes me wonder then how a mech is insured and such for loss of payments.

"I know I have 30 payments left on my new Crusader, and you can repossess it.  But to do that you need to go into clan space and pick up 1000 little pieces - except for this ejection seat here"

Terrace

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Re: Missing in the merc trade- Repo men!
« Reply #4 on: 13 January 2018, 12:24:16 »
Makes me wonder then how a mech is insured and such for loss of payments.

"I know I have 30 payments left on my new Crusader, and you can repossess it.  But to do that you need to go into clan space and pick up 1000 little pieces - except for this ejection seat here"

The remaining payments probably go into the general debt the unit owes to that lender. I don't think the banks would let them default on loans for specific BattleMechs just because said Mechs got blown up before they were paid off.

CrossfirePilot

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Re: Missing in the merc trade- Repo men!
« Reply #5 on: 13 January 2018, 12:58:51 »
The remaining payments probably go into the general debt the unit owes to that lender. I don't think the banks would let them default on loans for specific BattleMechs just because said Mechs got blown up before they were paid off.

Yeah but then on the other hand, you really cant get blood from a turnip.

Colt Ward

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Re: Missing in the merc trade- Repo men!
« Reply #6 on: 13 January 2018, 13:06:32 »
They can take the collateral or claim other assets . . . and like I said, does the interest rate jump if you take a riskier contract?
Colt Ward

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Frabby

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Re: Missing in the merc trade- Repo men!
« Reply #7 on: 13 January 2018, 15:35:52 »
I imagine that while repossession is a real issue, it mostly falls under the broader issue of Company Store.
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JadedFalcon

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Re: Missing in the merc trade- Repo men!
« Reply #8 on: 15 January 2018, 01:28:02 »
In order to first get the loan, the payer must have something to secure the loan. This can be an asset (family lands, company dropship, massive bank account, etc.) or in rarer cases the expected future earnings (not likely to meet the requirements if the applicant is a mercenary), or assets held by a co-signer. So yeah, the creditors will likely go after other assets owned by the individual. For example if a mechwarrior noble loses his ride and can't or refuses to keep up the payments, he could also face a lien on the family castle and lands, and possibly seeing income derived such garnished if his liege doesn't want to piss off the bankers.

The MRB and later MRBC appear to have a role in working with creditors regarding delinquent payers in the industry. The previously mentioned ordeal with Bad Dream was an instance of that. Another canon example is in Heir to The Dragon, where mercs from disbanded units were dumped into the Legion of Vega to repay their debt to The Dragon.

And Empires In Flames had a Republic-sponsored repo team as the character group for the adventure. But that was part of the Repub-Repo thing with Stone-Aid, so I don't know if that counts.

Terminax

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Re: Missing in the merc trade- Repo men!
« Reply #9 on: 15 January 2018, 19:12:12 »
(You kind of have to live in the Greater Toronto Area to get the joke...)

I'm Russel Oliver XIV and I want your used Battlemech. Light, Medium, Heavy or even Assault class - you want to sell it and we want to buy it! We pay the highest price for your used Battlemechs! OH YEAH!!!

Colt Ward

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Re: Missing in the merc trade- Repo men!
« Reply #10 on: 15 January 2018, 19:29:26 »
Lol, we have 'GivemetheVIN.com, so easy you can do it in your underwear!'
Colt Ward

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