RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2016
|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 charter aircraft services from companies that use the private plane of Steven Hilton, our Chairman and CEO, although Mr. Hilton does not have an ownership interest in the companies. Payments made to these companies were approximately $711,000, $695,000 and $598,000 for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively. In addition, in 2016 we chartered aircraft services from a company that uses the private plane of Robert Sarver, a Meritage director. During the year ended December 31, 2016, these payments totaled $43,000 with no prior year activity.
In 2012, we entered into an FDIC insured bank deposit account agreement with Alliance Bank of Arizona (“Alliance Bank”) through the Insured Cash Sweep Service ("ICS"). ICS is an accepted and recognized service 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 ICS banks participating in the program 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. We had no cash deposits at December 31, 2016 and cash deposits in the aggregate amount of $100.1 million at December 31, 2015, 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. 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 ICS program of $48,000, $137,000 and $430,000 in 2016, 2015, and 2014, respectively. We had no cash deposits at an Alliance Bank checking account as of December 31, 2016 and a nominal amount of $9,678 of cash deposits as of December 31, 2015.
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