A charge-off status simply means the creditor was unable to get a payment from the consumer for over 180 days, after which by law the creditor had to report the account on the books as a bad debt. This does not mean the creditor was absolved of the debt. The creditor can legally still try to collect for the duration of the statute of limitations and also file suit in court in order to obtain a judgment against the debtor. The creditor is also legally permitted to either sell or assign the debt to a third party collection company. Unless the charge-off is due to identity theft or fraud.