DETROIT -

Perhaps a sign of better times: Michigan bankruptcy cases are down again.

 The government says new filings last year were down 13 percent in bankruptcy courts in eastern and western Michigan. There were 53,000 cases pending at the start of the new year, but that number was lower, too, from a year ago.

Looking out a bit longer, new cases in Michigan are down 28 percent compared to 2009.

The state seems to be reflecting what's happened nationally. The government says new bankruptcy cases were down 13 percent last year in the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. territories.