But are you convinced that comments will help under those circumstances? Surely they just become part of the chaos, rather than a mitigation of it.
My whole point was that of course, when the code is commented well enough, then it is possible to keep using it, despite all the flaws it might have. If bugs are documented, they can be eliminated later on. If there's bad structure in an application, and it's documented, then it can be changed later on. Good comments in code help companies protect their investment in the source code.
However, many companies feel that commenting source code would encourage people to steal their IP. But that's not very reasonable. It's better to employ proper security measures and have properly documented code, than a mess of undocumented code (like it's most often the case) that somebody might manage to sneak out of their office. The cost of wasted time trying to understand an undocumented mess of code by far exceeds the cost of security measures.
Most bugs and wasted efforts (busted deadlines, accumulation of problems and sheer impossibilities and infeasibilities) arise only out of undocumented code.
Comprehensive manual pages should exist for every single API function in a corporate software project.
Often, a bad or outdated documentation is much better than no documentation at all. Of course, continuously maintained documentation is even better.