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Maybe your sister totaled your car and won't pay for repairs, you contracted to rebuild your neighbor's fence and now they won't return your calls, or your college roommate stole your credit card and ran away to Tijuana. Whatever the case, you're owed a debt. How in the world do you go about collecting it?

There's plenty of ways to go about collecting what you're owed, from taking a gentle approach to pulling no punches. Here's five straightforward ways to collect on a debt, from least to most severe:

Supreme Court Mortgage Ruling: 5 Things Borrowers Should Know

A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court this week may be of particular interest to homeowners hoping to rescind a mortgage loan.

The court ruled unanimously in favor of Minnesota couple Larry and Cheryle Jesinoski, Reuters reports. The Jesinoskis sued their mortgage lender, Countrywide (now owned by Bank of America), after the company refused to rescind the couple's $611,000 loan. The company claimed that the federal law allowing for mortgages to be rescinded required the couple to file a lawsuit within three years, which they did not do (they merely sent a letter). The Court ruled that in this case, the letter was good enough.

What should consumers take away from this ruling? Here are five things borrowers should know:

Top 10 Legal How-Tos of 2014

The idea of tackling a legal issue yourself may seem intimidating, but you may be surprised at what you can accomplish with a little legal know-how.

Of course, there are some instances where consulting with a lawyer is the most prudent option. There are others, however, in which hiring a lawyer may or may not be necessary. Our series "Legal How-To" presents some of those scenarios, laying out what is required for those who may be interested in taking on a legal issue on their own.

What were this year's most popular DIY legal stories? Here are the top 10 Legal How-Tos of 2014:

5 Legal New Year's Resolutions for 2015

When it comes to New Year's resolutions, adding a few legal goals to the list can be a great way to stay current on your long-term legal needs.

From estate planning to personal finances, there are a number of ways to be proactive when it comes to legal planning. And though you can't always prevent legal issues from arising, you can put yourself in a better position to handle them once they do.

What can you do this New Year's to help plan for a better legal foundation in 2015? Here are five legal New Year's resolutions:

4 Tips After Teen Wins $4M Lotto on Her Birthday

There are certainly worse birthday gifts than scratch-off lottery tickets, especially when one of those tickets ends up being a $4 million prize-winner.

Deisi Ocampo of Chicago received a pair of lottery tickets as a gift from her father on her 19th birthday, reports WMAQ-TV. She didn't have a chance to scratch them off until the next day, but when she did, she discovered that she was the winner of a $4 million prize.

Now that Ocampo -- a college student who works at a clothing store and lives with her parents -- has a little more money in the bank, what can she do to help make sure she makes the most of her newfound wealth? Here are four tips she may want to consider:

If you're fighting in court over a cash payment, how can you prove that you actually paid?

Paying for things in cash may be becoming less common as technology marches on, but if you still use cash, you'll want to get some proof that you paid. In many cases, the person you paid may be reluctant or defiant about admitting that he's been paid. In order to get the law's help, you may need to prove that the cash in question actually changed hands.

So how do you do this? Every case is different, but here are some potential ways to prove you paid for something with cash:

Legal How-To: Getting a Credit Card 'Chargeback'

Alongside the many well-known benefits of using a credit card to make purchases -- being able to pay over time, earning airline miles, or other rewards -- credit cards also offer unique protections for consumers who may feel like they didn't get what they bargained for in a purchase.

Credit card companies are generally obligated by state and federal law to offer customers chargebacks for disputed charges. Chargebacks function as a refund for purchases made by consumers who have a valid dispute as to the charges associated with the purchase.

How do chargebacks work?

Tax Extension Deadline Is Oct. 15: 3 Last-Minute Reminders

For most Americans, tax season ended almost six months ago on April 15. But those who instead filed a tax extension have hopefully spent the last six months preparing for their extended deadline, which is coming up on October 15.

Tax extensions allow taxpayers who are unable to complete their taxes by the filing deadline to instead file for an extension with the IRS, giving them an extra six months to complete their tax returns for the previous year.

What do those who are coming up on the tax-extension deadline need to keep in mind? Here are three last-minute tips:

Yours truly is a Texas native, but we won't blame you if you're just arriving or simply here to visit. What Texans won't appreciate is someone who's clueless about the laws in the Lone Star State.

So before your Southwest flight lands, check out these 10 laws you should know if you're in Texas:

One of the most popular ways of passing on retirement savings, inherited IRAs, have little protection from bankruptcy after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued Thursday.

While other retirement devices are typically protected from creditors during a bankruptcy, the High Court determined that inherited IRAs were not for "essential needs" in the same way as other retirement structures, Reuters reports.

What does this mean for the future or present use of inherited IRAs?