NWM, I think I disagree with your viewpoint. One could look at it as punishment, but I think in reality it is an incentive to pay. It is done as a tactic to get you paid in full.
The reason they list it is to hurt your chances of getting a loan or credit, since the tradeline shows a certain amount due. It's a rather vindictive system.
An account won't stay on a report unless someone is continually updating it. So someone is sending this off every month like a good little bureaucrat.I don't think that is true. You can see the last reported date on TC, for example.