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Michigan Foreclosures Drop In March, Detroit Foreclosures Increase

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FILE - Michigan foreclosures were down in March of 2012, though in Detroit there were more than the previous month. The state ranks eighth in number of foreclosure filings.
FILE - Michigan foreclosures were down in March of 2012, though in Detroit there were more than the previous month. The state ranks eighth in number of foreclosure filings.

While Michigan's economy appears to be doing better than last year, the state's economically depressed cities are still struggling with widespread foreclosures.

In March, Michigan ranked eighth in the country for number of foreclosures, with one out of 489 households receiving filings, according to RealtyTrac data. In Detroit, one in 300 households received filings in March.

While Michigan still ranks high for its percentage of foreclosures, it was one of the few states to show an overall decline in filings from February -- 31 other states had more foreclosure filings than the previous month.

Nationally, the number of homes receiving foreclosure notices went up 7 percent from February, though foreclosures were down slightly for the whole quarter.

But Brandon Moore, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, warned that the lower quarterly numbers aren't indicative of a rebound.

"The dam may not burst in the next 30 to 45 days, but it will eventually burst, and everyone downstream should be prepared for that to happen -- both in terms of new foreclosure activity and new short sale activity," he said in a statement.

Michigan's foreclosure rate was down drastically from the same time last year, a 36.6 percent drop from March 2011, according to the Detroit News.

But rather than showing big year-over-year changes in the housing market, the drop is likely due to a change in state law that no longer requires lenders to give as much notice when foreclosing on a property. Last month, RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist forecast a possible spike in Michigan foreclosures later in the year when those notices come due.

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