Do the buyer and seller have the right to see the entire HUD-1 Settlement Statement?

QUESTION: I’m representing a seller who is about to close on his property. I’ve just received a draft copy of the HUD-1 Settlement Statement from the closing attorney’s office and it only shows the seller’s side of theHUD-1. Doesn’t the law entitle the seller to see the buyer’s information too? And don’t I have an obligation to keep a copy of the closing statement in my file for 3 years after the sale has closed? Is this going to be a problem for me?

ANSWER: The answers to your three questions are no, yes and no, respectively.

The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) does not require the part of the Settlement Statement relating to the buyer’s side of the transaction to be provided to the seller. 12 USC Section 2603(a) states in relevant part: “Nothing in this section may be construed to require that that part of the [settlement statement]which relates to the borrower’s transaction be furnished to the seller, or to require that that part of the[settlement statement] which relates to the seller be furnished to the borrower.”

You are correct that the Real Estate Commission’s Rules require you to keep a copy of the Settlement Statement for three years after the transaction has closed and to provide a copy of it to your client upon request. However, in its North Carolina Real Estate Manual, the Commission acknowledges the fact that some attorneys only provide the buyer and seller with their respective sides of the HUD-1, and states that when this is done, the broker is only required to keep and provide that part of the HUD-1 which has provided to his or her client.

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