i cannot afford to pay these off and i want to buy more time to figure out what to do
If you do not want to file bankruptcy, you could try to work out a voluntary payment arrangement with the debt collectors. Many will settle for less than the amount they are seeking.
Before doing this, however, you will want to verify that the collection agency is legally entitled to payment.
And, check your state's statue of limitations for debt lawsuits on old credit card debt.
If the statute of limitations has already expired (meaning the debt collector is unlikely to try to sue you to collect), this might change your analysis. You will still have a negative mark on your credit for the unpaid debt, but the damage to your credit has probably already been done.
Disclaimer: I am not licensed in ND, so the above is general information only and not legal advice.