I see this happen from all kinds of people.
Students: "I know I haven't turned in half of the assignments and I haven't been in class for the last month and this is the last week of the term, but I'm failing the class and is there any way I can do something for extra credit?"
Professors: "I know grades for this term were due a few weeks ago, but I've been so busy with other things that I never got around to sending them in. I hope that didn't inconvenience you by preventing your graduation, or making it impossible for you to get a final transcript for that job you're applying to. I'll get it in this week, I promise!"
Professionals: "I know you asked me how I was doing on my task list every week for the entire project and I've said fine, but I realize now I'm three weeks behind and we've got a milestone due tomorrow. Can I get some help?"
For some reason, some people have a really hard time saying that they're behind until it's too late to do anything about it. And yes, I've been guilty of this in the past, which makes me quick to spot it in others.
Now if only I can find a way to convince students of the danger of this without them having to live through the hell-stress of being about to fail, before the lesson sinks in...