COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
|9 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2016
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES||
COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
We are involved in various routine legal and regulatory proceedings, including, without limitation, warranty claims and litigation and arbitration proceedings alleging construction defects. In general, the proceedings are incidental to our business, and most exposure is subject to and should be covered by warranty and indemnity obligations of our consultants and subcontractors. Additionally, some such claims are also covered by insurance. With respect to the majority of such legal proceedings, our ultimate legal and financial responsibility, if any, cannot be estimated with certainty and, in most cases, any potential losses related to these matters are not considered probable. Historically, most disputes regarding warranty claims are resolved without the initiation of legal proceedings. We believe there are not any pending legal or warranty matters that could have a material adverse impact upon our consolidated financial condition, results of operations or cash flows that have not been sufficiently reserved.
Joint Venture Litigation
Since 2008, we have been involved in litigation initiated by the lender group for a large Nevada-based land acquisition and development joint venture in which we held a 3.53% interest. We were the only builder joint venture partner to have fully performed its obligations with respect to takedowns of lots from the joint venture, having completed our first takedown in April 2007 and having tendered full performance of our second and final takedown in April 2008. The joint venture and the lender group rejected our tender of performance for our second and final takedown, and as a result we contended, among other things, that the rejection by the joint venture and the lender group of our tender of full performance was wrongful and constituted a breach of contract and should release us of liability with respect to the takedown and extinguish or greatly reduce our exposure under all guarantees. On December 9, 2010, three of the lenders filed a petition seeking to place the venture into an involuntary bankruptcy (JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. South Edge, LLC (Case No. 10-32968-bam)). On June 6, 2011, we received a demand letter from the lenders requesting full payment of $13.2 million the lenders claimed to be owed under the springing repayment guarantee, including past-due interest and penalties. The lenders claimed that the involuntary bankruptcy filed by three of the co-lenders triggered the springing repayment guarantee. We contested the Lenders’ claim on the basis that the repayment guarantee was not properly triggered by the lenders' filing of the involuntary bankruptcy, the lenders breached their contract with us by refusing to accept the April 2008 tender of our performance and by refusing to release their lien in connection with our second and final takedown in this project. The U.S. District Court of Nevada entered judgments in favor of JP Morgan in a combined amount of $16.6 million, which included prejudgment interest and attorneys' fees, which we paid in January 2016. The only outstanding issue in that case involves the amount of attorneys' fees that will be payable by us related to the now resolved appeal of that case, for which we are fully reserved.
We contend that four of our co-venturers in the South Edge entity (KB Home, Toll Brothers, Pardee Homes and Beazer Homes) are liable to Meritage for certain issues and events related to the South Edge joint venture and property, and we have filed an arbitration claim against those builders to recover certain amounts from them based on breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and other claims.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef