A charge off is an accounting designation that a credit card company makes when it feels that it can no longer collect a debt. The debt is written off as a “bad debt” or “business loss”after about six months of non-payment. After a debt is charged off, the company can no longer list it as an asset on their books. You still owe the money, and you will probably end up with a black mark on your credit report.
At some point, the credit card company may sell a group of charged off debts to a collection agency who will then attempt to collect. To preserve your credit, pay off all your debts even if they have been charged off.