RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2015
|Related Party Transactions [Abstract]|
|RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS||
RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
From time to time, in the normal course of business, we have transacted with related or affiliated companies and with certain of our officers and directors. We believe that the terms and fees negotiated for all transactions listed below are no less favorable than those that could be negotiated in arm’s length transactions.
We have in prior years chartered aircraft services from companies in which Steve Hilton, our Chairman and CEO, has a significant ownership interest. We currently charter aircraft services from companies in which Mr. Hilton does not have an ownership interest, although the companies use Mr. Hilton's private plane. Payments made to these companies were approximately $695,000, $598,000 and $421,000 for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively.
During 2009, we entered into an FDIC insured bank deposit account agreement with Alliance Bank of Arizona (“Alliance Bank”) through the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service (“CDARS”). In 2012, we entered into an additional FDIC insured bank deposit account agreement with Alliance Bank through the Insured Cash Sweep Service ("ICS"). CDARS and ICS are accepted and recognized services through which participating banks may accept and provide FDIC insurance coverage for large deposits that would otherwise exceed FDIC insurance limits (currently $250,000) by placing, as custodian for the deposit customer (Meritage), that portion of the deposit exceeding FDIC insurance limits with other CDARS and ICS banks participating in the programs such that for FDIC insurance purposes, the deposit is divided into insured amounts and deposited with other network banks to allow for full FDIC coverage. CDARS and ICS deposits differ in that ICS deposits may offer "on demand" withdrawals whereas CDARS are certificates of deposits with pre-determined maturity dates and interest rates. At December 31, 2015, we had cash deposits in the aggregate amount of $100.1 million and a nominal amount at December 31, 2014 through Alliance Bank as the ICS custodian or relationship bank. Alliance Bank had divided these amounts into FDIC insured amounts deposited with other ICS participating FDIC insured institutions. We do not pay any separate fees to Alliance Bank for these programs. Rather, Alliance Bank receives a small fee from the other ICS institutions for certain funds placed. At December 31, 2015 and 2014, we had no CDARS deposits. Robert Sarver, a Meritage director, is a director and the chief executive officer of Western Alliance Bancorporation ("Western Alliance"), the parent company of Alliance Bank. In addition, Steven Hilton, our Chairman and CEO is also a director of Western Alliance. We earned market-rate interest on deposits placed with Western Alliance pursuant to the CDARS and ICS programs of $137,000, $430,000 and $654,000 in 2015, 2014, and 2013, respectively. We had nominal amounts of cash deposits at an Alliance Bank checking account of $9,678 and $9,995, respectively, as of December 31, 2015 and 2014.
The entire disclosure for related party transactions. Examples of related party transactions include transactions between (a) a parent company and its subsidiary; (b) subsidiaries of a common parent; (c) and entity and its principal owners; and (d) affiliates.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef