The Washington Post has a recent article on some credit card companies recent willingness to offer settlements on some accounts:
As a consumer, be wary though, as credit card companies often sell off debt that they don’t get paid in compromised settlements, and you could find yourself facing a lawsuit from a “debt buyer” years down the road after settling with the original credit card company.  These “debt buyer” companies will often pay one cent on the dollar, or less, for bad debt and then come after you years later.  Anything thing they are able to get out of you beyond what they paid for the debt is profit for them !