By Ruben Rosario

Stella and Joseph Hernandez dodged an eviction bullet Friday.

On Thursday, the Ramsey County sheriff's office delivered the elderly St. Paul couple an eviction notice that gave them until 3 p.m. Friday to vacate their home of nearly 35 years.

The couple, whose plight was detailed in this column Sunday, say a grandson had them sign a quitclaim deed without their knowledge. In addition, they say, he forged their signatures on power-of-attorney forms to obtain more than $300,000 in mortgage loans that were never repaid.

The grandson denied the allegations, but meanwhile, the 91-year-old Tudor home near the Cathedral of St. Paul underwent foreclosure and was sold this year to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

However, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who read about the couple's housing woes, contacted Freddie Mac officials and persuaded them to put the eviction on hold.

"They feel for the couple and think it's tragic," Klobuchar told me Friday. "Right now, the eviction is temporarily on hold until we come up with a permanent solution."

Stella Hernandez, 83, said she received the sheriff notice shortly after she returned from cancer treatment at a clinic near her home.

She cares for her 93-year-old husband, a decorated World War II veteran who suffers from dementia and underwent a quintuple bypass surgery six years ago.

"I'm very appreciative of what (Klobuchar's office) has done for us," Stella said. "All this is causing mental anguish on top of everything else."

She hopes there's a way to stay in the home. But lifting the eviction could allow the couple and a niece helping them enough time to find affordable housing if the sale goes through.

Their plight touched a nerve with readers this week, many of whom emailed or called to express outrage or provide help, from donations to assisted-living housing.

"To have reached their age and suddenly have to uproot their whole existence represents everything that is wrong with our society; we have lost our souls," wrote one reader.

"If the folks are not able to find something, I have suitable housing available nearby their current location," offered another reader.

Stay tuned.