As a lot of my followers know, I serve as guardian and conservator for several people. A number of these folks ran up credit card debt before getting disabled and they're now in a nursing home and receive Medicaid long term care.
I'll admit that I'm not in any hurry to pay their credit cards -- they're pretty close to the bottom of the priority list, if not below the line.
Credit card companies don't keep non-paying accounts -- they sell them to third parties who then try to collect them, and then those guys sell them to fourth, fifth, and so on down the line. After 2 or 3 years the account ends up with a 'bottom feeder' who tries everything to collect. Here's the catch: when the account is sold, all that the purchaser gets is a name, social security number, address and contact info and -- maybe -- some of the account history. They don't get the copies of the original account documents or a detailed charge/payment history of the account.
So the collectors call me wanting to get paid on Irving Puffuffnick's old credit card. Actually they try to talk to Irving himself (and I've pretended to be Irving on more than one occasion -- in a sense I AM Irving by virtue of a court order) and want documentation from me to prove I have authority to act on behalf of Irving.
Of course, before I give them that authority (which is public record if they want to go to the courthouse to look for it - admittedly a long commute for someone in California) I demand proof that they are authorized to discuss the account on behalf of the creditor.
Mexican Standoff? (Wikipedia)