The HUD-1 is the official closing statement required by law that documents all money exchanged in a real estate transaction involving a mortgage. In general terms, any money exchanged not mentioned on the HUD-1 is considered a side deal and in all likelihood, illegitimate. I'm not speaking of the separate sale of furniture or a lawn tractor; I'm talking about under the table money.
The HUD-1 is required in all transactions where there is a bank mortgage. They aren't involved in cash transactions or owner financing. But they are required if you have a mortgage involved. And they have to be issued at closing. In other words, if you walk out of a closing without a HUD-1 someone is in trouble, and in Westchester County that someone would include the lender, lawyers for buyer and seller, title company, or all of the above. It is signed by the buyer and seller. It is approved by the attorney for buyer and seller, bank attorney, and title company. It is serious business, and I have been at many a closing where everything was done except for the HUD-1 and everyone was working overtime to reconcile the numbers so the figures would be 100% correct.
Often, as a courtesy, I am furnished with a copy of the HUD-1 as a broker. It makes sense- my fee is a line item on the form and it is a documentation for calculating referral fees if one is involved.
It is unacceptable for a buyer to be told by their attorney at they'll be mailed the HUD-1 later on or that it is OK to leave and get the HUD-1 later at a closing. It should be given to them before they leave. Why? Because there is no reason for it to not be completed, and that is the rule. It's not an "I'll catch you later" thing, it is an "at closing" thing. To not be furnished with the HUD-1 at closing invites problems later on. If there is a mistake that 3 lawyers and a title company all miss, it can be revised with the imprimatur of the lawyers and title at a later time. That is rare.
Don't leave the closing without your HUD-1.