I have been offered a lease buyout, but instead of one lump sum, the lease buyout company is
offering payments over a number of years. Should I consider this?
The answer is that it depends upon the actual offer and your financial situation. There can be tax related reasons why you would prefer to take ordinary income because you have a loss against which the sale proceeds can be applied. You may not want to receive all the income in one sum. Furthermore, in some cases, the paid over time offers are higher than the lump sum offer even when one accounts for the net present value/time value of money. Generally speaking, though, we are opposed to situations where the payments are made over more than a few years. In those situations, you are essentially betting that the company buying the lease will still be there for that amount of time and that they will have the money to pay off their commitment. That isn’t necessarily a good bet.