Federal regulators yesterday announced that they have put Hagerstown's First Federal of Maryland savings and loan under new management in an attempt to restore the ailing thrift institution to financial health.

The Federal Home Loan Bank Board, which oversees the savings and loan industry, hired Columbia First Federal Savings and Loan of Washington to run the Maryland thrift.

The agency said that First Federal of Maryland has assets of $152.7 million. For the first nine months of 1985, the latest data available, the institution lost nearly $18 million. Its liabilities exceeded its assets by $17.2 million on Sept. 30, 1985, when the liberal accounting rules authorized by the bank board were used, and its negative net worth was nearly twice that much under generally accepted accounting principles used by most other businesses.

The bank board said that First Federal was placed in its "management consignment program," in which the agency hands over management of a thrift institution. First Federal was the 17th thrift institution placed in the program this year, according to a spokeswoman for the bank board.

Normally, the bank board takes over a troubled S&L or closes it down. In this case, the agency said it thinks the institution is salvageable and therefore brought in a new management team.