What happens generally is that the surety company will reimburse the bond outfit and then potentially bring a claim to recover what it paid (this is called subrogation) against you by filing a civil lawsuit. It may actually take a peroid of years before you even hear from the surety company seeking to recover from you, but you probably will at some point.
You can certainly negotiate the amount due at any time, and in this type of case (I occasionally handle similar claims for surety companies) there is almost always an expectation on the part of the surety company that it will recover only a small portion of its loss, if any at all.
If the matter actually goes to judgment, there are various ways to try and collect a judgment, and in your case as a retiree it would seem that a lien on your house would be the best way because social security benefits are not attachable, however, you may protect yourself from this in some states by outting the house jointly in you and your spouse's names, or, you could put it in a child's name or someone else you trust.
You can also collect from the bondee if that's a possibility, but it doesn't sound like it.
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