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Quarterly Newsletter

Jan 2011

In This Issue
Financial Education Makes a Difference
HCL Launches Cedit Builder Initiative
HCA Receives Funds for Foreclosure Outreach
Call Us ~ We Can Help Prevent Foreclosure
Kaumakapili Church Completes Youth Financial Education Pilot
HCA Welcomes New Employee
Quick Links
2011 Homebuyer
Workshop Schedule

All workshops are free to attend

Kapolei Hale Ponoi
8:30a - 5p
  • February 12th
  • March 5th
  • April 16th
  • May 14th
Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center
8:30a - 5p
  • January 22nd
  • February 12th
  • March 19th 
Big Island
Hilo - Hawaii County Office Building
8:30a - 5p
  • TBA

Kona - Neighborhood Place
8:30a - 5p
  • TBA
Kauai County Building - includes orientation and 2 part workshop series
5p - 9p
  • January 19th/20th
  • February 16th/17th
  • March 30th/31st
  • April 27th/28th
  • May 18th/19th
  • June 29th/30th
For more information or to register for a workshop in your community contact HCA at (toll-free) 1.866.400.1116.

Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA) offers this quarterly newsletter to provide you with updated information on current programs and services.

HCA's mission is to build the capacity of low and moderate income communities to achieve and sustain economic self-sufficiency with a particular focus on Native Hawaiians.

HCA programs include:
  • Homebuyer Education and Pre-Purchase Counseling
  • Post-Purchase Education and Counseling
  • Foreclosure Prevention and Loan Modification Services
  • Youth Financial Education
  • Homestead and Youth Individual Development Accounts
  • Tax and FAFSA Preparation Services
  • Credit Builder Loans
  • Mortgage Financing
  • Loan Packaging

Financial Education Makes a Difference

HONOLULU, HI - Following an internal review of its financial education program over the last 4 years, HCA reports that families who received a minimum of 8 hours of homebuyer education and participated in individualized pre-purchase counseling improved credit scores, increased savings, and decreased debt.

Homebuyer/Financial Training & Counseling
Utilizing a comprehensive approach that includes home ownership education workshops, individualized credit counseling, and asset building and retention strategies, HCA trained 2,833 individuals and counseled 1892 individuals between Fiscal Years 2006 and 2010. Clients who attended HCA workshops and took part in 18-24 months of individualized counseling accomplished the following results:
  • identified savings goals;
  • increased their use of budgeting tools, and;
  • increased their knowledge of how to read credit reports and improve their credit scores.

Financial Education ResultsOn average, HCA clients improved their credit scores by 101 points from 540 to 641 and paid down an average of $5,012 in debt.  Individuals who went on to purchase homes saved an average $7,003 (results posted right).

Asset Building
In partnership with Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement and Department of Hawaiian Homelands, HCA assists in delivering the Homestead Individual Development program to provide a match incentive for families to build savings for down payment and closing costs for homes on Hawaiian Homelands.  Clients are enrolled in the program for a maximum HIDA Results Table24 months and are required to take homebuyer education training and individualized counseling to receive a 3:1 match on savings up to $2,500 (program results posted right).

The results confirm that low-income families enrolled in the program:
  • have built long-term savings habits and decreased unnecessary spending over time;
  • can and will save when properly incentivized, and;
  • are more likely to save above the program's maximum match savings amount of $2500 when they are simultaneously engaged in individualized financial counseling.
Asset Retention
When the foreclosure crisis hit Hawaii in 2008, HCA expanded its financial education program to include asset retention strategies, including foreclosure mitigation and post-purchase counseling to help families keep their homes.

Between 2008 and the 2nd quarter of 2010, HCA served 257 individuals with post-purchase counseling.  Through its Call Us ~ We Can Help Prevent Foreclosure Campaign, HCA has coordinated a statewide call center for families at-risk of foreclosure.  Since January 2008 to July 2010, the call center had received 459 calls resulting in 249 counseling sessions with HCA counselors and 121 secured loan modifications.

HCA continues to engage with organizations and government entities like Faith Action for Community Equity and the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, to name a few, to provide outreach to families at-risk of foreclosure statewide.
HCL Launches Credit Builder Initiative

Rose & TedWAIANAE, HI - Hawaii Community Lending (HCL), the nonprofit lending program of HCA, launched a "Credit Builder Initiative" to assist families living in transitional shelters on the Waianae Coast build and improve their credit.  HCL made its first loan in December to Ted Kamoku, resident of Kumuhonua Transitional Shelter (pictured right with HCA Community Services Specialist, Rose Transfiguracion).

"I've been saving, paying down debt, AND now building my credit," says Mr. Kamoku about being in the Credit Builder Program.

Taking a community-based approach to building and improving the target population's credit, HCL provides $250 secured loans at a fixed rate of 6% to qualified families engaged in individualized credit counseling with HCA. The families re-pay the loans in-full over a 12-month period.

"The Credit Builder loans function like 'forced savings' vehicles," says HCL Lending Officer, Sonja Gonzaga. "While families re-pay the loan they improve their credit and build savings."

HCL is a program of HCA and Hawaii's first non-profit mortgage lender dedicated to assisting families achieve and sustain homeownership. HCL provides loan origination and packaging services statewide.

For more information about HCL's Credit Building Initiative, contact Ms. Gonzaga at (toll-free) 1.866.400.1116 or via email at sonja@hclending.com.
HCA Receives Funding for Foreclosure and Loan Rescue Scam Outreach

HONOLULU, HI - HCA recently received a $10,000 grant from the National CAPACD (Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans for Community Development) for marketing and community outreach to assist families at-risk of foreclosure and loan rescue scams in Hawaii.  The funding was provided as a result of the 111th United States Congress recognizing our state as one of the top ten "hardest hit" areas in the nation for loan rescue scams.

"Loan rescue scams target people when they are most vulnerable," says HCA Community Services Specialist and Foreclosure Outreach Coordinator, Hallie Bennett.  "Often times the scams get people into more debt, making it harder for counselors to negotiate with lenders and secure loan modifications."

According to Bennett
nearly 20% of all clients receiving foreclosure mitigation assistance through HCA have been identified as "definite victims of loan rescue scams".  Common scams include private attorneys and individuals "guaranteeing" homeowners they can stop the foreclosure process if the homeowner pays them upfront for their services.  Once the payment is received the homeowner rarely, if ever, hears from the attorney or individual again.

Individuals who have been victims of loan rescue scams or are at-risk of foreclosure should contact a Department of Housing and Urban Development certified foreclosure counseling agency to receive free assistance.  For a list of available agencies in your area visit the Hawaii HUD website.

Are you or is someone you know
at-risk of experiencing foreclosure?


Foreclosure Sign    (808) 587-7886

           Free Help With:
           * Loan modifications
           * Work out plans 
           * Reducing payments
           * Lowering interest rates

Kaumakapili Church Completes Youth Financial Education Pilot Project

Kaumakapili Youth workshop
Kauamakapili youth learn about budgeting during Kahua Waiwai workshop.
Kaumakapili Church has announced completion of its pilot youth financial education project using the Kahua Waiwai, Opio Edition(c) curriculum.

Launched on June 20th by a cohort of teachers, the pilot project covered lessons on traditional vs. modern Hawaii economics, assessing individual interests and skills, basic strategies on managing money, budgeting, saving, opening and maintaining bank accounts, principles of computing interest, and writing checks and balancing check books.  On average, 5 youth took part in the financial education workshops which were held during Sunday school.  Attendance consistently rose throughout the series as information about the project spread by word-of-mouth until ending on August 29th. 

As a result of the pilot project
3 of the 5 youth participants identified interests and skills, developed a budget, and increased their personal savings during the workshop series, while 5 of 5 youth participants learned how to write a check, balance a check book, and identified ways to increase the household cash flow.

"Managing money is important because it will help me develop responsible skills as an adult," says project participant, Kanoe W. sharing why she thinks the pilot project was important.

Training on how to implement and deliver a youth financial education project using Kahua Waiwai was provided by HCA along with technical assistance in identifying program goals, measurable outcomes, and developing evaluation forms.

"Our parents have expressed support in Kaumakapili's endeavor to offer this (financial education) program to our youth and have suggested continuing and expanding it to older and younger participants," says Kalei Schoentstein, the pilot project coordinator and teacher. "Our hope is that the pilot will open the opportunity for other churches and faith-based organizations to use Kahua Waiwai as a way to equip more people with a solid financial awareness."

For more information about how your organization can become trained to implement and deliver youth financial education programs using Kahua Waiwai, contact HCA Program Coordinator, Jeff Gilbreath at 587.7653 or via email at jeff@hawaiiancommunity.net.

HCA Welcomes New Employee

HONOLULU, HI - HCA welcomes new Community Services Specialist, Rose Transfiguracion (pictured left) to its team.

Ms. Transfiguracion joined the organization in October to assist with its Financial Literacy/Renter Education for Homeless Families Living in Transitional Shelters on the Waianae Coast.  She comes with 4 years experience as a home school teacher for her five children.  Born and raised on Oahu, Ms. Transfiguracion recently celebrated her third year as a homeowner in the Kaupea Homestead in Kapolei where she currently resides with her husband and children.

"The work I do with HCA relates so much to raising a family," says Ms. Transfiguracion.  "At home I teach my children about responsibility and how our priorities drive our actions.  In the shelters I take the same approach when counseling the families.  If we can take responsibility for our actions and identify our priorities, then we can set a path to reach our goals, whatever they may be."
~ Support Our Youth & Families ~
Give the Gift of Financial Education

During this holiday season HCA is asking community to buy loved ones a gift that will change their lives and invest in Hawaii's youth and families at the same time.  When you purchase one of the handbooks below your money will double back to cover the cost of one handbook for a youth or family taking part in HCA's homebuyer and financial education workshops or foreclosure mitigation counseling.

  Kahua Waiwai Homebuyer Ed Cover Kahua Waiwai, Homebuyer Edition
  List Price: $15
The Kahua Waiwai, Homebuyer Edition(c) is a handbook that integrates
  traditional Hawaiian values within modern money management.  By
  promoting our basic values of supporting family, community, and natural
  environment above personal wealth and gain we can learn how to use our
  money to actively build, strengthen, and sustain communities for future

  Kahua Waiwai, Homebuyer Edition(c) is a curriculum for home buyers
  and their families with information on individual and family goal planning,
  budgeting, saving, building and accessing credit, qualifying for a mortgage,
  the home buying process, home  maintenance, and surviving a financial cris

Kahua Waiwai, Opio Edition

List Price: $15
Kahua Waiwai Cover
The Kahua Waiwai, Opio Edition(c) is a handbook developed by local communities for Hawaii youth.  Fully-illustrated by individuals, ages 12-18, the handbook lays the foundation for basic financial literacy that makes sense for people of all ages.

Kahua Waiwai, Opio Edition(c) is a comprehenstive curriculum for youth and their families covering information on traditional vs. modern Hawaii economics, how to strengthen our local economy and make wise financial decisions, employment and paychecks, goal planning, budgeting, saving, banking, building and accessing credit, credit cards and cars, insurance and surviving financial emergencies, paying for college, filing taxes, starting a micro-business, and buying vs. renting a home.

Foreclosure Handbook Cover  Preventing Foreclosure in Hawaii
  List Price: $10
  Preventing foreclosure in Hawaii(c) is a handbook developed by the
  Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement in partnership with HCA
  to assist families at-risk of foreclosure in Hawaii to better understand
  the process and opportunities available to keep their homes.

  Preventing Foreclosure in Hawaii(c) provides information on the
  reasons for foreclosure, issues specific to home owners on Hawaiian
  Homelands, how to avoid foreclosure, and available resources for
  homeowners and their families.

To make a purchase and support family financial education, please contact HCA Operations Manager, Rona Kahoonei at 808.587.7650 or via email at rkahoonei@hclending.com.