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Listings pulled for more than 100 foreclosed homes in Maryland

Lenders have pulled the listings of more than 100 foreclosed properties for sale in Maryland over a two-day period this week.

Foreclosure listings for all of Maryland show that on Tuesday and Wednesday, 109 properties, most listed by government-sponsored mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, were switched from foreclosure sales to temporarily off the market status.

In all of September, five properties were similarly switched.

An additional 54 properties were listed as being withdrawn from the market, some of which might also have been pulled foreclosure sales.

“We started hearing about it [Wednesday],” said Re/Max broker Cathy Werner, president of the Maryland Association of Realtors d. “There’s nothing concrete about why they’re getting pulled, and it seems to be random.”

A spokesman for Freddie Mac said he was not aware of the pulled listings in Maryland. Representatives from Fannie Mae did not respond to calls for comment.

The properties in Maryland, as in other states, are likely being pulled as lenders scour foreclosure paperwork for potential problems. Federal regulators, the state attorneys general from every state and others have been going over foreclosures to see whether employees at banks and processing firms signed court documents that had unverified or false information in an attempt to speed up the process.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which is the conservator of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, last week unveiled a four-point plan to combat any deficiencies they might encounter during the foreclosure process.

Re/Max Realtor Jeff Berman, who works in Columbia, said it was surprising to see a spike in pulled properties over a short period of time. Berman said 11 of the 69 active foreclosure listings in Howard County were pulled off the market on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“You would think that would be spread out over time, but it appears it wasn’t,” Berman said. “That’s a little scary.

“It’s just another speed bump in the road to recovery, I guess,” Berman said.

Pat Hiban, a Realtor with Keller Williams Crossroads Realty who has foreclosure listings in Baltimore City, and Baltimore, Howard and Prince George’s counties, said some of the pulled listings were for properties that were for pending sales.

“These are people with leases coming up, or movers planned, and now they’re not going to be able move in time,” he said.

Hiban said in addition to the properties pulled from the real estate listings, hundreds more were being held up that had yet to be listed. But, he said, inevitably the properties will be relisted once the paperwork and any other issues are sorted out.

“They’re not going to disappear; it’s going to add two to three months to the process,” Hiban said. “It’s going to be a very interesting spring.”