Foreclosures filings down by 28 percent in Michigan

Things are looking up for Michigan homeowners who are struggling to pay their housing bills. Foreclosure filings are going down - they decreased by almost 28 percent in the third quarter. This is more than the national decline of 13 percent, showing that Michigan appears to be ahead of the trend. Even with this decline, however, there are still many Michigan residents facing the hard process of going through a foreclosure or personal bankruptcy.

According to the Michigan Association of Realtors, there were 12, 578 homes sold in Michigan in August 2012. That number is up 11 percent from August of 2011. Sales are up 10 percent for the year since the same time last year. There were a total of 83,386 homes sold from January through the beginning of October.

Sales prices are also up. The average sale price of a home in August 2011 was $113,412 and in August 2012 the average price was $119,446, which is a five percent increase.

Michigan still has one of the highest rates in the country

Even though Michigan's foreclosure filings are decreasing at higher rates than the national average, the foreclosure rate in Michigan is still the eighth highest in the nation. The rate of foreclosure is one out of every 201 homes, while the national rate is one out of every 248 homes, according to RealtyTrac Inc. There were 22,586 foreclosure-related filings in the third quarter of 2012 in Michigan. Nationally, foreclosures are the lowest they have been since the fourth quarter of 2007.

Some Michigan counties are hit even harder. Wayne, Shiawassee, Genesee and Lapeer counties have the highest foreclosure rates, ranging from one in every 131 homes to one in every 156 homes. The city of Ann Arbor, Michigan ranked as the 27th highest foreclosure rate in the country according to RealtyTrac.

The city of Detroit had the 39th highest foreclosure rate in the country. Though this is a very high rate, it is an improvement. Just a few years ago, Detroit was consistently ranking in the top 10 foreclosure rates in the country. September's rate was the lowest foreclosure rate in Detroit since 2006.

While these foreclosure rates are improving, Detroit homeowners are still struggling. Over half of the homeowners in Wayne country are underwater on their mortgages. This means that they owe more money than their property is worth.

As one can easily see, there is still a lot of work to be done for Michigan homeowners. Homeowners who find themselves in deep financial trouble may be able to turn to bankruptcy to find relief. Michigan homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgage would be wise to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can help them understand their options.