High-loan-to-value lenders aren't just the fastest-growing companies in home finance-they're shaking up the way consumers manage their money.

"The financial adviser to the middle class is no longer Smith Barney and PaineWebber, it's companies like us," said Robert Posner, the 28-year-old chief executive of Fidelity First, a fast-growing new player based in Columbia, Md.

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