(CNN) - Nearly half of all foreclosed homes in the United States are still occupied, according to Realtytrac.
The figure tops 60 percent in hot housing markets like Miami and Los Angeles.
Evictions can take months to complete, but even when the banks foreclose, they aren't always eager to push people out.
Homes that are occupied are less likely to be vandalized.
That means many people are able to live in their homes mortgage or rent free.