Many southwest Florida homeowners are not out of the woods yet on their mortgages, but rising home prices are helping. The Herald-Tribune reports that nearly 20 percent of homeowners in Charlotte, Sarasota, and Manatee counties owe at least 25 percent more on their mortgages than their homes are actually worth, which is considered seriously underwater. Believe it or not, that’s good news: that 20 percent rate is actually down by about one-third from early last year, equated to some 30,000 homeowners making headway on their debt. In Charlotte County, almost 13,000 homeowners, or about 19 percent of mortgages in the county, are considered seriously underwater. Florida ranks second nationwide in seriously underwater mortgages at 23.2 percent of homeowners in the state, down from 28.1 percent last year.