There is the story of a young man living in a small town many years ago. He owed money to many different business people in the town and surrounding district. When asked for payment, he always told his creditors that he was penniless.
Despite the fact his creditors had a lot of power and could have bashed him up (you could get away with beating up your debtor in those days) or refused him credit, they rarely did so. For some reason, perhaps because he seemed a nice young man, they usually felt sorry for him. Therefore although they often demanded payment, his creditors rarely received any money to clear their debts.
However one day, a business man who was one of the young man's creditors, had an idea. This business man believed he knew something about human nature and decided to test his beliefs. He went to the young man and said, "If you do not pay me at once, I will go to your other creditors and tell them you paid me in full. But if you pay me in full now, I will say nothing."
The businessman was paid in full the next day.