Triple Border
Quarterly Newsletter

Apr 2011

In This Issue
Free Money & Assistance for Hawaii Homebuyers
Foreclosure & Loan Rescue Scam Outreach
Call Us ~ We Can Help Prevent Foreclosure
Shelter Families Hold Yard Sale
HCA Helps Hawaii Island Families Claim Over $170,000 in Tax Credits
Papakolea Youth Receive Financial Education
Support Our Local Economy ~ Purchase Financial Education Handbooks
Quick Links
2011 Homebuyer
Workshop Schedule

Workshops are free to attend

Kapolei Hale Ponoi
8:30a - 5p
  • April 30th 
  • May 14th
  • June 25th
  • July 23rd
  • August 20th
  • September 24th
  • October 15th
  • November 12th
  • December 10th 

Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center
8:30a - 5p
  • May 14th 
  • June 25th
  • July 16th 
  • August 13th
  • September 17th

Big Island

Hilo - Hawaii County Office Building
8:30a - 5p
  • April 23rd
  • June 4th
  • August 27th
  • October 29th
  • December 3rd 
Kona - Neighborhood Place
8:30a - 5p
  • May 21st
  • July 30th
  • September 24th
  • November 19th  

Kauai County Building - includes orientation and 2 part workshop series
5p - 9p
  • 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

HCA Celebrates Financial Literacy Month; Acknowledges Senator Akaka 


Michelle & Jeff w Sen Akaka

April is designated as Financial Literacy Month by the United States Congress.  Since 2003, our own Senator Daniel Akaka (pictured right, center) has been an outspoken leader in dedicating April to the education of our families and youth so they have greater opportunity to become wiser consumers, business owners, college students, and homeowners.


HCA would like to mahalo Senator Akaka for his tireless work in promoting financial literacy both in Hawaii and across the nation.


Mahalo Senator.


HCA to Help Deliver Nation's Largest Homebuyer and Financial Education Pilot Project


In addition to Senator Akaka's work in mobilizing support for financial education, he helped Hawaii secure $3.1 million in Department of Treasury funds to launch the largest homebuyer and financial education pilot project in the nation.


Known as the Hawaii Family Finance Project, the 3-year pilot's goal is to increase homeownership rates in Hawaii.  The project will allow HCA to continue its 11 year history of providing free homebuyer/financial education workshops and individualized pre- and post-purchase housing counseling to our local families, while expanding our reach onto  Molokai and Lanai.  


"We're excited about delivering the Hawaii Family Finance Project," said HCA Community Services Specialist, Sonja Gonzaga.  "In the midst of a major foreclosure and economic crisis that has seen many of our families lose their homes and jobs, this project will provide opportunities for more families to get back on their feet and take steps to realizing and sustaining the dream of homeownership."


Money HouseIn addition to receiving free homebuyer and financial education services, participants in the project are eligible to receive cash for down payment, closing costs, and debt reduction as well as referrals to local credit unions for opening of deposit accounts and other financial products. 


Free Money & Assistance for Individuals

YOU qualify to participate in the Hawaii Family Finance Project, making you eligible to receive free money and assistance for purchasing a home,  if you:

  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Do not currently own a home
  • Are low- or moderate-income

To enroll in the Hawaii Family Finance Project, please complete the Client Intake Form  and contact Sonja at 808.587.7655, (toll-free) 1.866.400.1116, or to begin your journey to homeownership.


Schedule a Group Presentation with HCA 

HCA is conducting outreach presentations to service providers, financial institutions, and homestead associations on how your group or organization can help enroll your clients and community members in the project.  To schedule a presentation please contact HCA at (toll-free) 1.866.400.1116.   

HCA Educates Public on Foreclosure & Loan Rescue Scams

HAWAII - The mortgage and housing crisis that continues to burden families in Hawaii has also been the source of added hardship and distress for many facing foreclosure.  Loan Modification Scam companies and individuals have found the growing number of foreclosures to be a lucrative business by preying on families in need of help.  Loan Scammers promise foreclosure prevention help, loan modifications, or other mortgage rescue services for high costs generally ranging from $1500 to $4500.  These deceitful companies or individuals spread misleading and damaging information and further harm families who are desperate to save their homes.

Loan Scam Alert adOut of the 715 foreclosure prevention calls that HCA has received through its statewide call center since the beginning of its Call Us ~ We Can Help Prevent Foreclosure campaign in January of 2009, approximately a third of the callers have been contacted or have actually been victims of loan scammers.  To spread awareness of these loan scam companies, HCA has joined efforts with National CAPACD (Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development).  Since February HCA has participated in 5 outreach events on Oahu and Hawaii Island reaching approximately 850 individuals with information regarding loan modification scams.

"The best way that we can prevent even greater loss for our families in Hawaii affected by foreclosure is to educate them to be aware of Loan Scams and to be constantly skeptical of companies that claim to guarantee a loan modification or who charge any type of fee," stated Hallie Lienhardt, HCA Community Services Specialist in charge of the Loan Scam Prevention Program.

"We want homeowners to know that they have access to free loan modification request and counseling services. HCA is always happy and willing to answer any questions regarding mortgage services, especially if it means preventing a family from being taken advantage of by a scammer."

To listen to a Hawaii Public Radio interview and informational piece with HCA staff regarding loan modification scams visit

An important step in stopping the Loan Scam companies from continuing to target families in Hawaii is to report the scammers to the Homeowner's Hope Hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) or online at  
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

Transitional Shelter Families Increase Cash Flow with Yard Sale

Transitional Shelter Yard SaleWAIANAE, HI -Families living at Ulu Ke Kukui and Ohana Ola O Kahumana Transitional Shelters on Oahu's Leeward Coast coordinated and conducted a multi-family yard sale Saturday, March 19.  The sale was initiated by families during their involvement in family financial literacy workshops with HCA through its 3-year Administration for Native Americans project to increase the economic self-sufficiency and transition rates of homeless families into permanent housing.


The sale featured 10 families selling household goods and handmade products.  On average, families raised up to $120 to help pay down debt and build savings for transition into permanent housing.


""[The families] enthusiasm as the day went on and the discussions about having another [sale] with karaoke set up in a tent in the middle spoke volumes about how the event affected the families," said HCA Community Services Specialist, Desiree Vea.  "The yard sale not only put some extra cash in these families pockets, but brought the community together and gave them confidence to explore more cash flow activities."


As part of the event, HCA also provided free tax preparation assistance helping 4  shelter families claim $13,475 in tax credits. 


"The event was a great success and the right turn-out," expressed Momi Lasano-Cruz, an Ulu Ke Kukui Case Manager.  "The families want to do it again in 3 months."


HCA's Financial Literacy/Renter Education and Credit Counseling for Homeless Families in Transitional Shelters on Oahu's Leeward Coast is a 3-year project funded by the Administration for Native Americans that utilizes family financial education workshops, individualized credit counseling, and community revenue-generating projects to increase the transition rates of families into permanent housing.


For more information about the project, contact HCA Community Services Specialist, Desiree Vea at 808.587.7661 or via email at


HCA Free Tax Preparation Services Grow; Brings in Over $170,000 for Hawaii Island Families


HILO, HI - For 3 years now HCA has provided free tax preparation services at its Hilo office, and every year it continues to grow.


In the first year, HCA trained 2 volunteers and completed 35 tax filings, while the second year proved to be an even larger success with 65 tax filings.  Now, in the program's third year, HCA has recruited 4 more volunteers for a total of 6 IRS-certified tax preparers, has added a second site at the Pahoa Neighborhood Facility, and filed 131 tax returns to bring in over $170,000 in tax credits for Hawaii Island families!


Tax Prep Pic"Taxes can be intimidating if you have never done them before or if you are unsure with the tax law changes.  Some families use internet sites, buy software programs or seek out professional help and the costs can range anywhere from $10 - $250+ to get your taxes prepared and filed," said HCA Hilo Community Services Specialist, Kelly Lincoln.  "The refunds our families get can be put towards a savings goal or even a college savings account for their child.  Most of the families we see are just getting by and this is the one large sum of money they see all year long that can make a substantial difference in their lives."


Along with tax preparation, the Hilo site has helped 11 individuals submit their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to qualify for as much as $5,550 in Pell grants to help pay for college.  Tax preparation clients also have many resources available to them through HCA and referrals to partnering agencies that can assist with homeownership, budgeting, credit counseling, banking, access to affordable lending, grants and financing for solar water heater installation and CFL exchange, education scholarships/grants, and individual development accounts (matched savings).


For more information about HCA's free tax or FAFSA preparation services, please contact HCA Program Coordinator, Jeff Gilbreath at 808-587-7653, (toll-free) 1.866.400.1116 or via email at

HCA Partners with Papakolea to Provide Youth with Financial Education


Papakolea Youth 3PAPAKOLEA, HI - In March HCA partnered with Kula no na Po'e Hawaii to serve 8 youth (pictured right and below), ages 18 - 24 working with Homestead Yard Service, with age- and culturally-appropriate financial education.


The 4-hour workshop featured information from the Kahua Waiwai: Building a Foundation of Wealthİ curriculum covering traditional Hawaiian vs modern economics, paychecks and taxes, budgeting, saving, banking, and building credit.  During the workshop, the Homestead Yard Service youth compared traditional and modern economic values and practices in Hawaii, calculated gross vs net pay, identified savings goals, developed and revised spending plans based on mock situations, and determined ways to cut unnecessary spending over time. 


The workshop also included 2 Leaders - Adrienne Dillard, Executive Director, Kula and Orson Enos, Luna, Homestead Yard Service - who will help the youth track their spending, develop  spending plans (budgets), and save money in the coming months.


"I think the training was excellent and did what we wanted it to do, providing an understanding to our group about their day to day spending and preparing for their future," Mr. Enos commented.


Papakolea Youth 1In the coming months HCA plans to return to Papakolea to teach its Kahua Waiwai lesson on developing business plans that promote a triple-bottom line approach where the youth will account for the yard service business's short- and long-term impacts on people and the planet as well as profits.


"We are excited and honored to work with Papakolea to build homestead entrepreneurs," said HCA Program Coordinator, Jeff Gilbreath.  "Our partnership is a great example of what the coming year will bring.  HCA will be active in reaching out to  homestead communities across the state to equip the next generation of business owners and college students with the skills necessary to make wise financial decisions."


HCA also offers asset building programs such as free tax and FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) preparation as well as matched savings to help mobilize resources for Hawaiian youth to realize their long-term savings goals, mentioned Gilbreath.


To schedule a workshop for your homestead youth or FAFSA preparation appointment, contact Jeff at 808.587.7653, (toll-free) 1.866.400.1116, or via email at

~ Support Our Local Economy ~

Make Financial Education a Reality for Hawaii Youth & Families


HCA is mobilizing community to support our local economy through homebuyer and financial education.  Purchase one of the handbooks below and 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 generations.


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 crisis.




Kahua Waiwai CoverKahua Waiwai, Opio Edition

List Price: $15

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 our local economy, please contact HCA Operations Manager, Rona Kahoonei at 808.587.7650, (toll-free) 1.866.400.1116  or via email at