Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Related Party Transactions

Related Party Transactions
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2013
Related Party Transactions [Abstract]  
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 in which Steve Hilton, our Chairman and CEO, has a significant ownership interest. Payments made to these companies were approximately $359,000 , $330,000 and $288,000 for the years ended December 31, 2013 , 2012 and 2011 , 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, 2013 and 2012, we had cash deposits in the aggregate amount of $89.5 million and $102.1 million, respectively, through Alliance Bank as the CDARS custodian or relationship bank and $157.5 million and $84.2 million, respectively, through Alliance Bank as the ICS custodian or relationship bank. Alliance Bank has divided these amounts into FDIC insured amounts deposited with other CDARS and 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 CDARS and 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 CDARS and ICS programs of $654,000, $687,000, and $767,000 in 2013, 2012, and 2011, respectively.