At all stages up to this point, creditors may be open to negotiating a settlement in lieu of the entire amount owed. The more it will cost a creditor to pursue collection activity against a debtor, the more it may be interested in a lump sum settlement offer. However, because the creditor has incurred additional costs and expenses in pursuing collection, a proffered settlement amount may not be palpably less than the amount of the original debt. For example, a defaulted debt of $10,000 may result in the addition of late fees, accrued interest, and attorney or collection fees, such that the debtor now owes $14,000. If the creditor agrees to accept $10,000 in full settlement of the outstanding debt, the debtor is no further along than he was before he defaulted in the first place.