NEW YORK (CNN) -- CNN Money's Maribel Aber has your top business and financial news on this Friday, October 4.
BP lands a win in Gulf oil spill litigation
A divided appellate court has directed federal Judge Carl Barbier to take another look at claims by BP Plc (NYSE: BP) that the administration of its multi billion-dollar settlement related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster is flawed, Reuters is reporting. The 5th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in New Orleans also directed Barbier to stop payments on claims that don't meet certain standards. The company agreed in a settlement last year to make payments through an administrative fund to compensate businesses and individuals for losses from the spill.
Home mortgage rates drop again
Mortgages got more affordable again this week. The average interest rate for the most popular kind of home loan, the 30-year fixed rate, fell to 4.22%, down from 4.32% a week earlier. Rates, as measured by a weekly Freddie Mac survey, have dropped from 4.57% since the Federal Reserve unexpectedly announced three weeks ago that it would not alter its stimulus program of buying Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. Most industry experts had thought the Fed would start to taper off those purchases, which bring liquidity to the mortgage markets and help keep rates low.
Banks give breaks to furloughed workers
As hundreds of thousands of federal workers remain furloughed and are uncertain how long they'll have to go without pay, some banks are stepping up to offer financial help. TD Bank (TD) announced Thursday that customers impacted by the government shutdown can get a loan for the amount of their monthly paycheck (up to $1,000) without paying interest or fees. They will also be reimbursed for credit card late fees and can qualify for special mortgage payment plans.
Don't miss these shutdown freebies
The shutdown isn't all bad. From tacos and gym memberships to career counseling and cooking classes, businesses in Washington, D.C. -- and across the country -- are offering a slew of freebies and discounts to federal workers impacted by the government shutdown. Food: If you're trying to save money while your paycheck is on hold, start your food journey at Z-Burger, a D.C. chain giving out free burgers to federal workers during the shutdown. The restaurant said it had "lines out the door" at all six locations on Tuesday.