Residents of the District are suffering as a result of the exodus of credit reporting firms from the city, a city official contends.
Herbert Simmons, director of the District Office of Consumer Protection, told a Senate subcommitee that since last July, no consumer credit firm has had an office in the city.
Until that time, the Credit Bureau Inc., (CBI) had operated a walk-in office in downtown Washington, enabling city residents to stop in and check their credit files. Now, a personal visit to that firm's office in suburban Langley Park requires many city residents to take a one-way, hour and a half public transportation ride.
Simmons said that despite his request that the company reopen a city facility, CBI executives told him they would not return to the District. Simmons told a Senate Banking Consumer Affairs subcommittee that despite the firm's claim consumers can obtain their files in the mail, his office has received many complaints about "painfully inadequate assistance" in CBI's handling of such requests.
Telephone callers to the company are hooked up with a recorded message explaining how they can receive their credit records. But the message does not disclose that consumers are entitled to view their files and omits the fact that the public, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, is entitled to telephone disclosure.