Every contract (form HUD-9548) in paragraph 3 contains the language "... earnest money deposit shall be held by 'HUD's Designated Closing Agent'". It has been this way for at least a couple of years. In prior years the words were 'Secretary of HUD'. The earnest money check is then made payable to that designated closing agent, for example, Urban Title.
When delivering the contract and earnest money, the package must be delivered to the Closing Agent, not the M&M contractor, for example, Southwest Alliance, within 72 hours after acknowledgment. Since most acknowledgments are rendered on Mondays, your package must be delivered to Urban by Thursday.
If you have questions about the process that your office personnel cannot answer definitively, you should consult the M&M contractor, for example, Southwest Alliance, to get guidance.